Students from the Indiana University School of Dentistry and School of Nursing are learning clinical skills together in a new experiential interprofessional education and practice program. The program was developed in response to dentists and nurse practitioners being asked to expand their scopes of practice.
Fourth-year dental students and final-year family and pediatric nurse practitioner students learned how to conduct assessments of the oral cavity and analyze blood pressure and body mass index in pediatric patients. By learning the relationship between oral and systemic health, students are taught how to diagnose chronic conditions like dental cavities, hypertension, and obesity in children.
The program currently includes 69 students who have been divided into pairs of one dental student and one nurse practitioner student working together to identify chronic conditions. Students came away from the experience reporting that they had gained new clinical skills and a better understanding of the work performed by the other profession. Many students also requested an expansion of the program, wanting it to be part of their formal curriculum.
To learn more about Indiana University’s experiential program allowing dentistry and nursing students to learn and practice clinical skills together, visit here.