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Jody Thompson: The Interprofessional Approach: A Patient's Perspective

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On the one year anniversary of the event, the author writes about her experience in cardiac ICU.


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This is another in a series of blogs written by Jody Thompson about IPEP and the work they are doing. - Bill

The Interprofessional Approach: A Patient's Perspective
Posted by Jody Thompson on Mar 14, 2013

I have a theory. When the seasoned paramedics take over for the younger ones once you are put on a heart monitor, your situation is serious. When game plans are whispered and you are not involved in any of the decisions, it gets even more serious. And when those same, seasoned paramedics help you chew and swallow aspirin while riding in the back of a speeding ambulance, things, at that point are not good. So when an entire medical team was waiting for my arrival at the University of Arizona Medical Center emergency room, I gave up all control and received a crash course in how interprofessional care works.

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Before IPEP"

Last year while I was getting ready for class, I reached for my make-up and a sharp pain shot up my left arm. When the pain did not go away and continued up into my jaw, I called 911. For weeks leading up to this, I felt increasingly tired and found it harder and harder to climb stairs, carry groceries and stand for certain periods of time. I contributed it all to stress. I was wrong. Within 24 hours of my arrival to UAMC, I would be diagnosed with Acute Myopericarditis. Later that night after being transported to the Cardiac ICU, I had a seizure. During my 3 day stay, I did not know what interprofessional care or what closed loop communication within health care teams was for that matter. Since joining the IPEP team in September 2012, I now know that the care I experienced was not only vital to my nearly yearlong recovery, but to my survival.

How My Health Care Team's Communication Skills Helped Me Communicate

The purpose of the IPEP CPR Team Behavior Simulation is to encourage professional entry students to develop vital team skills including closed loop communication, constructive intervention, knowledge sharing, re-evaluation and summarizing and mutual respect, these team skills are just as vital for patients to practice. In my experience, I used these same skills from a patient's perspective. For effective patient care and recovery, a patient and their advocates must take an interprofessional approach. When asked about how an interprofessional approach plays into patient care, one of my favorite nurses said:

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Bill Wetzel is Amskapi Pikuni aka Blackfeet from Montana. He's a former bull rider/wrestler turned writer and a coauthor of the short story collection "The Acorn Gathering." His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from the American Indian Culture (more...)
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