Posted on February 29, 2016

Over 72 students from Qatar University (QU) College of Pharmacy (CPH) and Department of Health Sciences, College of North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q), University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ), and Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM-Q) recently participated in the second IPE activity on Smoking Cessation. The workshop which was hosted at CNA-Q started with an ice-breaker activity to familiarize the students on the concept of interprofessional education and for them to share the commonalities and differences of their respective academic disciplines and professional backgrounds.

Opening the event, assistant dean for Student Affairs and IPE chair Mrs Alla El-Awaisi said: “Part of our goal from these workshops is preparing our students for shared decision making through collaborative practice in their careers ahead. Smoking Cessation is an effective model for showcasing this collaboration and providing an environment for students of all healthcare backgrounds to understand and respect their roles and responsibilities to stakeholders.” CNA-Q School of Health Sciences dean Ms Irene O’Brien said: “It is a pleasure to host healthcare students on our campus to help build professional aptitude and educational opportunities. Healthcare is all about teamwork and improving patient care -- it is wonderful that students can gain practice in this area to better prepare them for when they start working in Qatar’s healthcare system.”

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The students were then oriented on the relevance of smoking cessation and the role of healthcare providers by CPH assistant professor Dr Ahmed Awaisu who also emphasized the role for collaborative care in tobacco cessation clinics as part of the strategies to control tobacco use in Qatar. On the importance of students in healthcare profession disciplines joining forces for a healthier Qatar, he said: “Learning together using an IPE model is a unique opportunity to build a strong foundation for future partnership among pharmacy, medical, public health, nursing and allied health professionals students”, he said, adding, “collaboration of this capacity provides all students the opportunity to further their skillset and become more well-rounded healthcare practitioners in the workplace.”

Students were later engaged in addressing cases of smoking cessation adopting the strategies learned during a session conducted by WCM-Q associate professor of Family Medicine in Clinical Medicine Dr Mohamud Verjee. One such case involved helping a heavy smoker suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to stop smoking. Also discussed were strategies and roles in establishing a smoking cessation clinic.

2nd-year CPH student Radoa Al Ansari said: “Collaborating with students from other healthcare programs gives us a better understanding of each other’s roles and perspectives in the healthcare team. These sessions provide us with the tools we will need in the workplace to provide optimal care to the patient. Working together for the betterment of the patient is everyone’s goal.”