Building systems that support students was a clear theme throughout this year's Interprofessional Colloquium. The hybrid event, postponed from last year, saw 200 health educators, practitioners and regulators from across the professions come together to explore From virtual to reality: the journey to work-readiness.
The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC) were delighted to host their second Interprofessional Colloquium in Canberra and online on Thursday 6 May.
'The Colloquium has come as a timely reminder of how much we have learnt and grown as health professions throughout the pandemic. It's our role as accreditation leaders to ensure we continue to prepare health profession students for these realities, and support our educators to do this' says APC CEO Bronwyn Clark.
'Our joint event brought people together from across the health professions and education. Most delegates attended in person. And it is one of the first face-to-face health education conferences held anywhere in the world since the pandemic started.' says Ms Clark.
ANMAC CEO Fiona Stoker said this year's theme focused on building strategies and frameworks that enhance work-readiness upon graduation. She said 18 speakers shared their research and expertise on building system resilience, simulation and assessment methods, the interprofessional continuum and the significance of Entrustable Professional Activities.
'A key theme threaded throughout the sessions was building systems and organisational cultures that support learning, collaboration and growth." said Ms Stoker.
Keynote speaker, Prof Zubin Austin reminded delegates that students are better off being an unresilient human in a resilient workplace rather than being a resilient human in an unresilient workplace.
His research indicates that it's not merely personal and psychological characteristics that make someone resilient. He says organisational culture and workplace infrastructure are the most important components.
Keynote speaker, Prof Karen Strickland highlighted transferable skills such as leadership and communication. She said that newly graduated practitioners become the mentors of the future. It's never too early to focus on developing leadership skills.
Throughout the day, delegates and speakers discussed the importance of co-design, learning from other disciplines and engaging key stakeholders at all levels. Speakers emphasised student feedback and collaboration with hospitals, community and regulatory bodies to foster student growth.
After the year we've had, Kirsty Freeman reminded delegates to look after themselves.
'This year, we've constantly been asked to 'pivot'. To be sustainable we need you to look after yourself so you can give the best you can to your students, colleagues and most importantly, our patients.' said Ms Freeman.
The Colloquium finished with a lively and controversial debate, moderated by the inimitable Prof Andrew McLachlan. Teams debated "Patients are safer if students do not practise on them – from virtual to reality".
In lieu of gifts, a donation was made to the Vivian Bulwinkel Project. This project by the Australian College of Nursing is to raise funds for a commemorative sculpture recognising the life of Lieutenant Colonel Vivian Bullwinkel, a nurse who served in WW2, in the grounds of the Australian War Memorial. Donations can be made here Vivian Bullwinkel Project.
The APC and ANMAC Colloquium is now a firm favourite in the health professions educators calendar, with feedback such as:
'The whole event was a very good example of how well a hybrid event can work.
'One of the best educational events in the last couple of years.
'Organisation was fantastic! Hybrid system worked well. Diverse speakers with quality presentations. Good interaction within workshops. Nice number of breaks throughout the day. Collegial And friendly atmosphere. Would come again.
'I think all the presenters were great - the atmosphere was warm and inviting - even though I attended virtually.
Next year's date will be out soon. Don't miss it!