This past spring 146 health sciences students from the Duluth and Twin Cities campuses completed the new online interprofessional training, “COVID-19 Vaccine and Pandemic Planning.”
“We saw the development of this course as an opportunity to provide ‘just-in-time’ education related to COVID-19 vaccine efforts as it was unfolding in real-time,” said Robin Austin, PhD, DNP, assistant professor in the School of Nursing and co-creator of the course. “With the pandemic highlighting the importance of interprofessional practice, we felt it was critical to bring this training to students across all health science programs.”
The six-week course covered topics like COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccines, and the public health role in pandemics using a mix of recorded presentations, readings, interprofessional discussions, and journaling.
“This course was valuable to both connect with other health care professional students and debunk many false narratives in the media about COVID-19,” said Sarah Wong, a pharmacy student who participated in the course. “I have already been able to put to practice the information I learned in this course. I have participated in many COVID-19 vaccination clinics over this past spring. At each one, I am always asked an abundance of questions regarding COVID-19 and the vaccine development process. The knowledge I learned from this course has allowed me to be confident in providing answers to these questions.”
Faculty were excited to provide this new opportunity for students to learn about and work with other professions.
“I was really pleased to see so many health professions represented in this course,” said Ann Philbrick, PharmD, associate professor in the College of Pharmacy and Medical School, and co-creator of the course. “We had more than 15 professional programs participating in this new interprofessional offering.”