Posted on November 18, 2018

The University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ) recently hosted an Interprofessional Education (IPE) event to examine the topic of diabetes ketoacidosis held in collaboration with Qatar University Health (QU Health) from the College of Pharmacy (CPH) and College of Health Sciences (CHS). Over 130 students and 16 facilitators, representing five professions from UCQ and Qatar University (QU), participated in this unique, annual learning opportunity.

Now in its sixth year, IPE is a collaborative knowledge-sharing exercise amongst students from different academic fields. UCQ nursing students welcomed QU students from various disciplines, including pharmacy, biomedicine, public health, and nutrition.

“This classroom-based IPE activity is a fundamental example of an active learning strategy,” according to Zohra Hasnani, UCQ Nursing Instructor. “It is extremely beneficial to our students. They learned about diabetes ketoacidosis and, at the same time, had a valuable opportunity to meet other healthcare professionals so early on in their careers. IPE teaches skills including interprofessional communication, collaboration, respect, and value of other professionals, which are all key to providing safe and quality care to patients and families. It’s vital that students in each year of their education have exposure to such active interactions, and I believe that embedding IPE in the curriculum ensures sustainability.”

Diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious complication of diabetes, develops when one’s body can't produce enough insulin. Students discussed the management of a patient with this condition and created a collaborative discharge plan for them and their family. The plan focused on aspects of nursing care, medication management, blood glucose monitoring, and related aspects of nutrition and health promotion. The outcome for all students was an enhanced appreciation of the importance of collaborative interdisciplinary management of patients suffering from acute and chronic health problems.

As in years past, the students participating in the event found it very helpful. “This IPE event has enriched and reiterated the importance of team work,” explained Ikram Zoukh, a Pharmacy student at QU. “Having a case that does happen in real life in an environment where students work together to ensure the safety and health of the patient gives us invaluable experience on how to work efficiently in adequate time to achieve a shared goal.” “It was fantastic to see students from the range of healthcare disciplines interacting with one another, and learning about the various roles that each of them plays in the health and wellbeing of the community,” said Dr. Lily O’Hara, Public Health Faculty, QU. “You could see the students starting to realize how important it is to work together and respect the other disciplines. No single discipline can do it all.”

UCQ looks forward to hosting further collaborative and knowledge-sharing events in the future. For more information about the University’s nursing programs, admission processes, and criteria, please visit its website at