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Journal of Interprofessional Practice and Collaboration

Abstract

The Allied Health and Nursing Departments within the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have begun a journey towards interprofessional health education (IPE) with the vision of offering multiple IPE courses for the allied health and nursing students. The need for interprofessional education in the health professions has been recognized for many years. In 1998, the Pew Health Professions Commission identified the need for interdisciplinary teams as an endeavor to strive for in the 21st century. A variety of terms have been used to describe this pedagogic practice including shared learning, interprofessional training, multidisciplinary education, and multiprofessional education. Research shows that there are several benefits to IPE such as raising awareness of the roles and responsibilities of other healthcare professionals, facilitating communication, increasing cultural sensitivity, and improving perceptions and attitudes of healthcare professionals to name a few. There are also several barriers to implementation of IPE in colleges and universities. The increased emphasis on IPE by various accrediting agencies for higher education has created more interest in implementing IPE. Examples of various programs currently being used while be reviewed as well as specific courses at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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