By Kate Hunger
First-year medical students and first-year medical laboratory science students learned how to improve communication between clinical staff and the laboratory during an inaugural interprofessional educational experience in November.
“We worked through a few of the common barriers to communication between the clinical staff and the laboratory,” said Assistant Professor Cordelia Kudika, MA, CHS (ABHI), who also is director of clinical education for MLS.
Held on Nov. 8, the event brought MLS students together with the medical students during their synthesis cases, which covered microbiology. The groups of students then worked on a sorting activity to help medical and MLS students better understand the various roles and functions on both the clinical and laboratory sides.
The event dispelled some common misconceptions about the educational background of medical laboratory scientists, Kudika said.
“A lot of medical students didn’t realize that we have bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and even Ph.Ds,” she said. “That was eye-opening for them to realize we have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to laboratory tests.”
The program also included a case study involving a patient with a sore knee. Students learned how the fluid is drawn from the knee would be sent to the lab to be cultured and tested for infection-causing bacteria.
“We got excellent feedback,” Kudika said, explaining that some of the medical students were unfamiliar with the MLS profession before the event.
The overall goal of the program is to promote awareness of other health professions and to strengthen the entire medical team.
“We are part of a team,” Kudika said. “If we work together we can be so great for all of our patients, and we can give the best diagnosis, the fastest diagnosis, and the best treatment. “
Plans are underway to expand the depth and scope of the experience for next fall, Kudika said.