Using Medical Students to Create and Sustain Healthy Work Environments for Professional Advancement in Health Care Systems in Abia State, Nigeria – (Pages 1-6)

E.E. Enwereji1, R.A. Eke1, E.C. Ndimele1, K.O. Enwereji2, U.M. Nwosu1 and P.E.N. Onyemachi1
1Department of Community Medicine, College of medicine, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria

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Abstract:Introduction: The need for medical students to cordially interact with health care professionals and patients especially those living positively with HIV and AIDS should not be underestimated. Interprofessional education prepares medical students on clinical posting for quality health care services to patients including HIV positive persons who are likely to be discriminated against. Therefore, creating healthy work environments is imperative to ensure patient safety, and enhance staff relationships.
Materials and Method: Two days pre-clinical seminar which centered on professionalism, teamwork, interpersonal relationships, and effective communication to guarantee healthy work environments for patients was carried out to prepare 107 medical students for a twelve weeks clinical posting. At the end of the posting, two days post-clinical seminar to harness students’ experiences, views and performances during the clinical posting was conducted. After the seminar, teachers’ observations, remarks as well as students’ experiences, views and performances were grouped together and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively.
Results: A good number of the students 75(70.1%) established good interpersonal relationships with the patients while 63(58.9%) of students had effective interprofessional interaction with other health workers. Also 81(75.7%) of the students indicated that they had good interprofessional interaction with fellow students. Study recorded better health services to clients as evidenced by increase in shared case managements among the students. Students were able to identify pressing challenges in work environments and collaborated with colleagues to find solutions to the challenges.
Conclusions: Interprofessional learning can increase students’ understanding of professionalism, teamwork and encourage friendlier environments that will guarantee better health care services to patients.
Keywords: Teamwork, HIV positive, case management, relationships, morbidity, mortality.
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