Collaborating Across Disciplines for Sustainability
What is needed for Øygarden medical center (LMS) to achieve the UN´s sustainability goals? During the fall of 2020, an interdisciplinary student group received a slightly different TVEPS practice.
– A vegetable garden can provide fresh, local produce that is healthier and more environmentally friendly.
– We know that a more plant based-diet is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and obesity.
Eirin S. Gjerde and Elisabeth Tran complement each other when they talk about locally produced vegetables, lifestyle diseases and food waste. They are final year students in clinical nutrition and medicine. Together with radiography student Arun Siva and an economics and administration student, Ole Alexander Bakkevik, they participate in a slightly different TVEPS group.
On behalf of the medical centre in Øygarden (ØLMS) municipality, they have investigated how the center can achieve the UN's sustainable development goals. Based on the three sustainable development goals:
- 3. Good health and well-being
- 8. Decent work and economic growth
- 12. Responsible consumption and production
The interdisciplinary student groups suggestions range from simple and affordable everyday changes to larger scale that require political endorsement to be implemented.
Among the proposals are how the center can ensure increased user participation for patients, facilitate cycling and carpooling among employees, establish green areas with edible crops, carbon accounting, solar panels and concrete ways to reduce food waste.
– Our responsibility
Two weeks earlier, the students received basic documentation about existing routines and a corona-adapted, digital tour of the medical centre by the manager Tonje Alvsvåg.
She has been wanting to host a TVEPS group that could look more closely at the link between the centre and the UN sustainability goals. Although the sustainability goals are global, - regions, municipalities and cities are important in ensuring sustainable development.
– It is our responsibility. We must do our part to achieve the sustainability goals, says Alvsvåg.
Øygarden municipality (formerly Fjell municipality) has for several years received interdisciplinary student groups from TVEPS. Normally, students are given the task of investigating individual patients in nursing homes or users of home care services and creating interdisciplinary action plans for how to improve their daily lives.
Academic divesity and a fresh perspective can both change and inspire, and in 2017 Alvsvåg invited a student group to come up with a proposal for a dementia village in Ågotnes. Now she will take the proposals from the sustainability-TVEPS group further.
For example, we may be able to reduce food waste by making changes to our routines. The students present many good measures, and I am impressed that they are so specific in their proposals.
Innovative thinking and social engagement
– It is nice to get positive feedback. I am left with the impression of having contributed with inspiration and perhaps to initiatives being implemented at the medical center, says Eirin S. Gjerde.
The students found it interesting and enlightning to collaborate on sustainable development goals.
– I have gained increased knowledge about challenges in the health sector in terms of sustainability and how these can be solved, says Ole Alexander Bakkevik.
– We worked across fields and learned from each other. Even though this group were beased more on personal intererest than professional knowledge, it opened for collaboration, innovative thinking and social engagement, says Elisabeth Tran and adds;
– I hope TVEPS will continue with similar groups in the future!
Who are the TVΕPS students?
TVEPS - Center for Interdisciplinary Work-Place Learning facilitate interprofessional collaboration among students at the workplace.
The students enrolled are final year students from different professions from the University of Bergen and the Western Norway University of Applied Science. TVEPS is a collaboration between the University of Bergen and the Western Norway University of Applied Science with the municipalities of Bergen and Øygarden as participating partners.
The interdisciplinary student groups consist of 4 to 5 students from different professions, among them nursing, public health nursing, psychology, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, speech and language pathology, nutrition, bioengineering and law.
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