Interprofessional Collaboration and Social Responsibility: Utilizing Community Engagement to Assess Faculty and Student Perception

By Kirk Peck, Jennifer Furze, Lisa Black, Kathleen Flecky and Andreia Nebel.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Background and Purpose: Educators in post-secondary health professions are increasingly being challenged to inculcate the necessity of social responsibility in students during their formative years. Various methods have been employed to teach social accountability, but further research is needed to identify the most effective technique. One plausible option is to incorporate an interprofessional faculty and student model, in collaboration with community partners, to provide a realistic view of societal dilemmas. The purpose of this study was to explore perceptions from students enrolled in physical and occupational therapy programs, and faculty members, through analysis of post experience reflections on a structured community-based service project. Description: This qualitative study explored student and faculty perceptions about self and service capacity following participation in a community-based project designed to encourage physical activity, nutritional, and behavioral change in children at risk for obesity. Data were collected from survey responses and focus groups utilizing open ended questions about service perspectives. Aggregate data from all participants were analyzed to derive thematic relationships. Outcomes: Results from this study revealed that participation in a community engagement experience had a positive impact in relation to personal perceptions about service and individual commitment to addressing future social concerns. In addition, participants expressed distinct recognition of value to incorporate an interprofessional model of communication and collaboration as a way to instill an internal desire to provide service to others. Discussion: Results from this study suggest that incorporating community-based service activities utilizing an interprofessional model is an effective way to instill the value of recognizing and acting upon situations of social injustice. Interprofessional role modeling was found to be particularly significant to student learning, especially when intentions were to develop a cognitive awareness of professional identity and social obligation.

Keywords: Community Engagement, Interprofessional Education, Social Responsibility

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 8, pp.205-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1018.078KB).

Dr. Kirk Peck

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Kirk Peck PT, PhD: Faculty member in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at Creighton University. He teaches topics in spiritual and humanistic relations, political advocacy, and student professionalism. Dr. Peck has a special interest in exploring how to integrate faith-based values into 21st Century higher education. Dr. Peck teaches a variety of topics in health care including spiritual and humanistic relations, political advocacy, professionalism in relation to student formation, and principles of clinical exercise physiology. He has a focused interest in exploring how to best integrate the traditions of Ignatian philosophy into the social fabric of 21st Century culture of student learning. His passion for promoting values and moral conduct has lead to multiple leadership activities in support of Jesuit higher education.

Dr. Jennifer Furze

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Dr. Furze is an Assistant Professor in the Department pf Physical Therapy at Creighton University. She is the current co-chair of the Physical Therapy Curriculum Committee and a member of the Physical Therapy Assessment Committee. She serves as an investigator for a number of research projects at Creighton University assessing the impact of service and community based learning on physical therapy students. She has published in the areas of interprofessional education and community based learning and has presented on pediatric physical therapy practice and childhood obesity as well as student learning through reflection.

Dr. Lisa Black

Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Dr. Black is an Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Education at Creighton University. She has twenty-four years of professional clinical and management experience as a practicing Physical Therapist in multiple settings including outpatient orthopedics, geriatrics, pediatrics, home health and inpatient therapy. She has experience and proficiency in management skills in a variety of areas including budget, personnel, staffing, employee education and quality control/improvement. Her research interests are in health promotion and student learning.

Dr. Kathleen Flecky

Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Dr. Flecky earned a B.S in Medical Technology, B.S. in Occupational Therapy and a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions at Creighton University. Dr. Flecky has taught occupational therapy coursework in research, service learning, social issues, pediatrics, school-based practice and community-based practice. She has interdisciplinary experience teaching students from the fields of occupational therapy, nursing and physical therapy. Dr. Flecky has published and presented research and workshops on service-learning, community partnerships, infant mental health, assistive technology and school-based practice. She has received grant funding in the areas of service-learning and youth community.

Dr. Andreia Nebel

Director/Assistant Professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program, Clarkson College, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Dr. Andreia Nebel earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Development from Montana State University - Bozeman, graduating in 1999 and went on to earn her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Creighton University, graduating in 2002. She has also achieved certification in Functional Capacity evaluations and is a certified Clinical Instructor. At Clarkson College, Dr. Nebel is the director and an assistant professor in the PTA program. Her clinical background includes pediatrics, outpatient orthopedics and industrial wellness with current practice in geriatrics. Dr. Nebel is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), where she is a member of the geriatrics section. She is also the Nebraska Student Special Interest Group liaison for the Nebraska Physical Therapy Association (NPTA). She is involved continually with programs to fight childhood obesity, such as Healthy Families, and is involved annually with the Special Olympics.

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