Spanning eight distinct disciplines and schools across the University of Miami, Miami Law's new interdisciplinary course – The Idea of the Hospital – will launch on Saturday, January 22 with forty graduate students – a larger-than-expected number. The first of its kind, the course gives students an exclusive opportunity to study the multiple perspectives from which we view, think, and work in hospitals.
In the inaugural class, UM President Donna E. Shalala will present on "Nursing and Its Future." President Shalala, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Clinton administration, chaired the committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine with the goal of transforming the nursing profession. She has also co-authored an article titled "Broadening the Scope of Nursing Practice" in the New England Journal of Medicine.
While the graduate-level course has been organized, coordinated and sponsored by Miami Law, it will be taught by UM professors from across six schools and colleges. The course will be taught in eight full-day/eight-hour Saturdays classes. All lectures will be held at Miami Law, except for the second class, which will meet at the Miller School of Medicine.
Each class session will focus on a different aspect of the hospital – from the shared governance concept in nursing, to patient safety, to the use of technology, to the social functions of health, caretaking, remedy, and research.
"The goal of our interdisciplinary course is to promote an integrated approach to the health care services provided in hospitals through the consideration of different perspectives, analysis, social understanding, and strategies offered by key disciplines," says Sandy Abraham, Executive Liaison for Interdisciplinary Programs.
"Understanding the legal issues, the architectural aspects, the business priorities, the organizational interests, the technology challenges, the perspectives of the professions including nursing, medicine, social theory, and public health, and complex ethical positions, all related to hospital services and care, will give students better preparation in sorting through myriad theoretical and practical approaches to effective hospital operations and patient care."