There is international agreement that undergraduate healthcare students should be prepared for practice by experiencing Interprofessional Education (IPE) . As a result, in the last decade IPE has become established in the curriculum of undergraduate health and social care education. Simulation-Based Education (SBE) provides an immersive, authentic experience to explore teamwork for undergraduate healthcare students.
A paediatric SBE course was developed for undergraduate physiotherapy (PT), medical (M), and children specialty nursing students (CN) with intended learning outcomes focussed on teamwork. During the course, three participants (one from each discipline) worked collaboratively to address the needs of a simulated patient. One scenario focussed on recognition and management of an unwell child and the other scenario was discharge planning. Following the scenario, interprofessional faculty co-facilitated a structured debriefing using the Plus/Delta model. The course was evaluated using the ‘Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale’ (RIPLS) . The RIPLS scale measures attitudes to learning with other professionals on a five-point Likert scale. In order to gather additional qualitative data, the RIPLS was adapted to include free text questions. Statistical analysis of the pre- and post-course RIPLS was conducted using SSPS and thematic analysis was used to analyse the free text comments. The qualitative analysis is reported here.
Thirty-three students have participated to date (12 PT, 13 M, 8 CN). The four subscales of RIPLS were used as a framework for the thematic analysis. Most of the students described valuing the collaboration and teamwork during the course that enabled delivery of patient care ‘practice working as a team in a safe environment’. Almost all student feedback suggested they benefited from the opportunity to work together to deepen their understanding of roles and responsibilities ‘becoming aware of other professionals’ assessments and job roles’. Many of the participants’ feedback suggested they had positive professional identity, valuing sharing knowledge between the members of the interprofessional team to enable effective decision-making, ‘working with other professions, sharing knowledge to make clinical decisions’. Students also described benefiting from working with an interprofessional peer group ‘working with colleagues of the same level of other professions’.
Students developed their interprofessional working relationships and attitudes during this SBE course which was viewed as a positive learning experience. The literature often discusses challenges to implement interprofessional simulation . This course has shown it is feasible to deliver interprofessional SBE to enhance team working.
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