IPE Coordinator Appointed
Chip Zimmerman, clinical assistant professor of respiratory therapy, has been appointed interprofessional education coordinator (IPE) for the Lewis School. He has been active in the school’s IPE efforts since the initial team of faculty formed in 2012, and he first presented professionally on this topic five years ago. That team brought together students from nursing, nutrition, physical therapy and respiratory therapy to introduce the concept of IPE in lab simulations with students filling the same professional roles they would take as healthcare workers in a hospital. The second IPE team project was a mass casualty drill where students triaged and treated mock victims of a mass shooting, a scenario that has become all too real.
Last spring, Zimmerman received the Lewis School’s first Teaching Excellence Award. He decided that the award belonged to others in the school and is putting the funds towards another IPE project. This third project is an undergraduate, multi-semester patient simulation. The program is a pilot with two students per discipline in clinical health informatics, nursing, nutrition and respiratory therapy. The simulation features one mock patient who will initially appear in an outpatient setting, then be admitted to the hospital. Students will have input on the patient’s care and will follow the patient’s progress in recovery or decline.
“The IPE model isn’t a competitive, but a collaborative one,” says Zimmerman, giving the students the experience of working in the interdisciplinary teams as they would in hospital settings.
IPE, while groundbreaking, wasn’t developed at Georgia State. Zimmerman says the team had an opportunity to learn from pioneers at the University of Washington (double check) and Johns Hopkins University. However, the Lewis School has championed the model in Georgia.
“We began [IPE]a little earlier than other schools in the area,” he says.