Thursday, May 09, 2013

interdisciplinary studies in global health and disability, aka ISGHD #longestacronymever

On Sunday evening, our program started off with two great guest speakers - Steve Brown, a british paralympian (he plays wheelchair rugby..!), and Maddy O’Shaughnessy-Hunter, who graduated from Queen's with a degree in Health Studies and now works for the British Paralympian Association. They talked a bit about their lives and their stories. It was definitely a fun way to start off our program with a BANG.

In Maddy's talk, I think the thing that stuck with me the most was the Paralympic games' aim to change perceptions about disabilities. They hoped to inspire people to look at the individuals as athletes, and their sports as real sports.. Not disabled people playing for pity. Steve had a chance to share about his experience, from before his injury to where he is now. He was very honest and open about telling us about his ups and downs and in the different views he had of himself as a person with a disability. The take-home phrase that stuck out was the importance of using what you have and not fretting over what you don't have. In his case, using the 1/3 of his body that he can use and not crying over the 2/3 of this body that he cannot use.

Overall, it was highly emotional and I was not ready to be so inspired or to cry at the first presentation of the program!! Afterwards, I had a chance to talk to Maddy a little, but Steve was always really busy talking to other people. He is really charismatic! I am super inspired to look into paralympic sports and watch videos about athlete stories and watch their sports too! And this is coming from someone who doesn't watch sports, really. I also hope I can take the lessons I got from each speaker and apply them to other things too.

This week in class we started our first course, Interprofessional Collaborative Education and Practice. Because of the way our program is structured, we only do one course at a time and so I am actually halfway through my first course! It's gone by soo fast. But it's been a really interesting perspective so far. We talk a lot about practical and theoretical aspects of teamwork, communication and patient-centred care.

Our second speaker, Elizabeth Hawkins from CAIPE, came to talk to us about what the Centre For The Advancement Of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) does. CAIPE is the UK centre for interprofessional education and a leader in its area, so it was really cool to have Elizabeth come in and talk to us! It definitely aligned really well with the material we've been learning and she was really interested to hear our input and feedback too. It was a very comfortable and collaborative speaker presentation!

As a part of this course, we are going to Oxford this weekend to visit a hospice, a clinical exercise and rehabilitation unit at Oxford to see how they operate in interprofessional teams there, and we will also get a chance to explore the city. It'll be super cool to integrate this trip into the course! It hasn't really hit me that travelling is actually part of the learning experience here!