New movement seeks to train health care professionals as team

Jan 10, 2014

A central mandate of the Affordable Care Act is getting health care professionals to communicate across disciplines.  A conference Thursday at the University of Wyoming brought health care leaders together to talk about how to better train students for doing that.


Brenda Zierler with the Center for Health Sciences at the University of Washington was one of the conference leaders.  She says it’s time to move past the old paradigm in which nurses, social workers and psychologists all learn their crafts in isolation. 

“What we’re trying to do is find opportunities for them to train together early on in their careers as a student,” she says.  “So that when they graduate they actually know about each other, the roles and responsibilities of each other.  They can work together as a team.  They can communicate better if they know each other and trust each other.”

Zierler says that most mistakes result from a lack of communication between health care professionals. She says to change that, deans and university presidents have to understand that reforming training programs will improve the health of the whole population.