Health Profession Student Training
AHEC Tobacco Training and Cessation Program (ATTAC)
Formerly known as Partners in Prevention of Substance Abuse (PIPSA)
Tobacco is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in this nation, yet relatively little time is devoted to its prevention or intervention in the curricula of most health professions training programs. ATTAC is a comprehensive instructional program sponsored by the USF Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program designed to teach health professions students about tobacco, help them develop professional skills necessary to address its use (and other unhealthy behaviors) with their patients, and have them serve as role models while educating youth about the dangers of tobacco.
The A.T.T.A.C. Health Professions Student Training Program brings health professions students together to learn about tobacco abuse, prevention, and cessation issues. Students who participate in this program benefit from an increased understanding of the pharmacology of nicotine, tobacco use, and NRT; increased awareness of the effects of smoking and tobacco use; improved knowledge of how to help patients change unhealthy behaviors; and enhanced skills for dealing with dependent/addicted patients.
A.T.T.A.C. incorporates online learning modules and live training sessions into the curriculum to ensure that health professions students receive comprehensive training on the consequence of tobacco use and, most importantly, on how to counsel patients to avoid or stop tobacco use. A key component of the program is motivational interviewing, a highly effective technique for counseling patients on any variety of unhealthy behaviors.