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Northern Health Interprofessional Learning Modules

The Northern Health interprofessional learning modules have been developed to help you build knowledge and skills related to rural and remote health care practice (Module 1) and explore competencies essential in working with Aboriginal populations (Module 2). They are envisioned as learning objects that can be used across all health and rehabilitation professional university programs whose learners do academic courses or clinical placements in Northern Ontario. While the modules will complement each other, they can also be used as stand-alone learning resources.

The modules are designed for use in a variety of courses across all health care disciplines including nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dieticians, medicine, speech language pathology, audiology and others who complete clinical placements in rural and remote settings. The modules would be relevant to learners in both university and college sectors. They can be used for self-study, or incorporated into a curriculum.

The modules were developed as a collaborative effort between McMaster University (School of Rehabilitation Science) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.

Module 1: Rural and Remote Practice

Module 1 explores the unique nature of rural and remote practice. Interprofessional knowledge and collaboration are important elements of rural and remote rehabilitation practice as is the development of a generalist skill set with a broad scope of practice (Bushy & Leipert, 2005; Geyman, Hart, Norris, Coombs, & Lishner, 2000; Shepherd, 2005). An individual health care professional may be the sole member of a discipline in a rural/remote community (Warner et al., 2010) thereby making interprofessional collaboration essential to reduce isolation and enhance client care. Furthermore the ‘community aspect’ of rural and remote practice - that is the close relationship between rural practitioners and their communities - may also be an important support to interprofessional learning (IPL)and interprofessional collaboration (IPC) (Deaville et al., 2009; MacRae et al., 2007). Learning in the context of rural and remote settings in combination with learning about, with, and from health professionals in small communities provides unique experiences for students, which may have long lasting impacts on their professional and personal lives and practice.

Module 1 is comprised of four sessions:

  • Session 1: Life in Northern and Rural and Remote Communities
  • Session 2: Health Care Practice in Rural and Remote Communities
  • Session 3: Models of Professional Practice and Learning in Rural and Remote Communities
  • Session 4: When Professional Life and Personal Life Intersect

Module 2: Aboriginal Health

Module 2 explores the basic competencies needed to practice in a thoughtful and culturally safe way with First Nations people based on the Health Sciences Competency Checklist (Health Sciences Unit, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, 2014). The content is focused on the basic competencies of cultural awareness and knowledge and include the history and current state of affairs for Aboriginal people. Learners will explore a range of traditional and non-traditional healing and wellness practices and sources of expertise including elders and healers. Health system issues will also be included.

Module 2 is comprised of four sessions:

  • Session 1: Diversity and northern Aboriginal Peoples
  • Session 2: Banner - “The North”
  • Session 3: Customs, Protocols and engaging with the northern Aboriginal communities
  • Session 4: Social Accountability - Cultural security at work