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Students working at the table
Working on patient discharge plan

More than 70 students across various health programs at Kapiʻolani Community College gained valuable insights into the multifaceted nature of providing patient-centered age-appropriate care through a symposium in January.

Students working at a table
Health program students developing patient management plans

Community Health Education Program Director Hilary Hacker said, “This symposium, created from a shared commitment to excellence in healthcare training, aims to transcend traditional silos.”

The collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi’s Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program drew students from practical nursing, community health worker, physical therapy assistant, occupational therapy assistant, respiratory care practitioner and medical assisting.

It is helpful to see the aspects of patient care through the lens of other health professionals
—Elizabeth Kalahiki, respiratory care student

“I genuinely enjoyed interacting with all the health science students,” said Jesse Temple, a student in the physical therapist assistant program. “Not only was I able to understand how to establish a better patient plan of care, but my knowledge was enhanced on each representative’s role within the health care team. I can’t wait to work alongside each and every one of them!”

UH Mānoa Professor and Geriatric Medicine Chair Kamal Masaki prefaced the symposium with insights on “Developing an Age-Friendly Health System,” after which student groups were introduced to a geriatrics case to identify issues and develop preliminary management plans. Actors representing a patient and his daughter shared what mattered most to them, and the teams reconvened to adjust their plans with those considerations.

“It was beneficial to witness and understand how important every field is when working together for the ultimate care and needs of the patient,” said practical nursing student Skye Kalehuawehe. “I know that this experience will help me advance as a future nurse and that I can use these skills learned today to my advantage to give the best possible care to those in need.”

Student teams presented their care plans, followed by a panel discussion where faculty and professionals from diverse healthcare fields shared their clinical experiences and discussed lessons learned.
“This was a great opportunity to collaborate with other health fields to formulate a plan from varying perspectives with the patient’s wishes in mind,” said Elizabeth Kalahiki, a respiratory care student. “It is helpful to see the aspects of patient care through the lens of other health professionals. As a future respiratory care practitioner, I had a chance to see how patient care continues after discharge, as most of our involvement has been in an acute setting.”

Students smiling
Kapiʻolani CC health program students
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