Darrel Hagel started the MRSc degree program to gain the skills needed to improve patient care and push for program growth, and he has done just that.
During his MRSc course work Darrel became interested in ‘Group Medical Visits’ (GMV’s) as a service delivery model to better support people with chronic health conditions. He conducted literature searches on the topic and shared the findings with his cardiologist colleagues. Together they developed and started running multi-disciplinary group medical visits to provide post-discharge follow-up care to patients in the local Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.
Darrel’s course work in RHSC 503: Reasoning and Decision Making proved to be pivotal in shifting his conceptualization of physiotherapy practice and how he involved and engaged patients. In planning his MRSc Major Project, he decided that before evaluating the effectiveness of the GMV program from a quantitative perspective he first “needed to make sure the GMV’s were meeting patient needs and expectations”. Supported by his project supervisor, Dr Pat Camp from the UBC Department of Physical Therapy, Darrel used qualitative research methods to investigate patient experiences following a GMV to support post cardiac rehabilitation. The participants in the study described enhanced participant engagement, peer support, self-care and physician engagement. Participants viewed GMVs positively as a tool to provide the ongoing support they wanted, but they also had suggestions for improvement. These research findings will help further establish and improve this program in his health region.
Darrel now looks forward to new opportunities a Master’s degree can bring, such as teaching at the college level and pursuing management level positions.
“Along with the satisfaction of knowing I was able to impart real and significant change in both how I practice and how the programs I am involved with function I was able to gain a great deal of practical skills that have made a difference in the programs I am involved with”.