Poster Presentations

P-14: Managing harassment in the clinical learning setting: interprofessional, inter-institutional blended learning model yields promising results

Mrs. Elaine Lillie

Elaine Lillie,
Margo Mountjoy

University of Waterloo
School of Pharmacy

Topic: Education, Interprofessional Education

There is a substantial body of evidence that healthcare students continue to face harassment in clinical practice environments.  Students who experience harassment report higher levels of burnout, depression, suicidal ideation and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. These well documented impacts on student well-being prompted the Waterloo Regional Campus of McMaster University’s Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine to collaborate with University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy to create a blended learning programme (online module, workshop) to prepare students to proactively managing incidents of harassment. The harassment module is part of a larger vision to create a professionalism platform for healthcare students.

Surveys were used to collect quantitative data at strategic points in the learning process.  A focus group was used to probe learners about both the module and the workshop and to evaluate the overall learning experience.   Additionally, structured interviews were used with the Principal Investigators to elicit their views on the process and appetite for expanding the project.  

Results have been encouraging.  86% of respondents reported feeling more confident in seeking support.  88% of respondents report being more or much more knowledgeable about how to report harassment and 93% had an increased understanding of the impacts of harassment. Comments from learners complimented the design and visual appeal of the module. Students placed a high value on the workshop and in particular noted the relevance of the keynote speaker, a resident who shared her own story of harassment, and the additional applicability stemming from learning in an interprofessional setting. Interviews with PI’s confirmed their enthusiasm for leveraging the strong working relationship and expanding the project to fulfill its vision of developing a professionalism platform for healthcare students.  

Three conclusions can be drawn from the pilot.  

  1. The content of the module is relevant and educators should continue to offer guidance to learners about harassment and remedies.  
  2. Learners highly value learning in an interprofessional setting and such environments should be fostered wherever possible.
  3. The partnership between the Michael G DeGroote School of Medicine and Waterloo Pharmacy is a very positive and productive one and the team should pursue its development of the professionalism platform.