The Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Toolkit
The Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Toolkit is based on the IPEC Competencies, the NONPF Core Competencies and the HRSA interprofessional oral health core competencies delineated in the Integration of Oral Health and Primary Care Practice report (2014). Developed by the Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP) program, the Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Toolkit is an innovative, web-based, open source product intended to facilitate the integration of oral-systemic health content and clinical competencies into nurse practitioner and midwifery curricula. The Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Toolkit is organized by program and describes how to “weave” evidence-based oral-systemic health content, teaching-learning strategies, and clinical experiences into pediatric, family, adult-gerontology, women’s health, psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and midwifery programs.
The Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Toolkit content reflects a consensus set of interprofessional oral health core competencies for non-dental providers that align with the oral health objectives identified in Healthy People 2020, which ranks oral health as one of the Top Ten Leading Health Indicators. Despite the prominence of oral health as a major population health issue, the health of the mouth and its impact on overall well-being has been largely ignored in the education of health professionals, including nurse practitioners and midwives.
Oral health, as an integral component of overall health, is gaining recognition. An increasing number of primary care providers are becoming involved in the assessment, diagnosis, prevention and management of oral health problems within their scope of practice. Oral health and its link to general health makes it a perfect clinical exemplar to use for developing interprofessional classroom and clinical experiences for nurse practitioner and midwifery students and their colleagues in dentistry, medicine, and other health care professions.
The Interprofessional Oral Health Faculty Toolkit can serve as a starting point for faculty, clinicians, and organizations as they work to play a leadership role in building interprofessional oral health workforce capacity to improve oral health access, decrease oral health disparities, improve oral health and overall health outcomes, prepare for accreditation, and enhance the health of the communities they serve.