Implementation of Interprofessional Education for Associate Degree Nursing Students and Doctor of Physical Therapy Students
Purpose: The primary purpose of the project was to evaluate change in attitude towards interprofessional education (IPE) between registered nursing (RN) students and doctor of physical therapy (DPT) students. The question guiding this project was: In first year RN students and second year DPT students does participation in an IPE interactive learning event aimed toward improving communication and teamwork affect attitude toward interprofessional collaboration over a two month period? A secondary purpose of this project was to implement an innovative interprofessional learning event at a small faith-based university that does not have an IPE department. Methods/Description: The learning event occurred at Southwest Baptist University on the Springfield, MO campus at the Nurse Training Center. The target population included first year RN students and second year DPT students. Purposive, convenience sampling methods were used. Teamwork training was adapted from the AHRQ TeamStepps® training modules and led by a TeamStepps® master trainer. Teamwork training was followed by student-led laboratory activities with scenarios in which the DPT students taught the RN students about proper gait belt use, transfer of a patient from the bed to the wheelchair, and hallway ambulation with the patient. The students changed teaching roles when the RN students taught the DPT students how to measure orthostatic blood pressure on a patient. After completion of the teaching activities, faculty-led debriefing occurred in groups of 8-10 students. The 27-item Interprofessional Attitudes Scale (IPAS) was used to evaluate student attitudes pre-, post- and follow- up to the activity. The pre-activity survey was administered one week prior to project implementation, post-activity survey one week after participation, and follow-up to the activity occurred one month later. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 24. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate nominal variables of age range, degree track, and prior IPE experience. A Friedman test was run to determine differences in attitude between the pre-, post-, and follow- up surveys. Pairwise comparisons were performed with a Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Results/Outcomes: A total of 144 students participated in the learning event, consisting of 66 RN students, and 78 DPT students. Forty-four students completed the pre-, post- and follow-up surveys. Approximately 94% of respondents had no prior IPE experience. Post hoc analysis revealed no statistically significant differences in attitude between pre-, post- or follow-up surveys in any categories of the IPAS survey. However, participants demonstrated a positive attitude toward IPE prior to participation and attitudes remained positive and did not change across all three surveys. Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: This project utilized best practice to measure attitudes related to IPE between DPT and RN students. Even though post-hoc analysis revealed no statistically significant differences in attitude between surveys, participants demonstrated a positive attitude toward IPE which did not change across all three surveys. While measuring attitudes is a limitation, it is an appropriate measure for early learners. To develop teamwork competencies, IPE must be incorporated at multiple points across the curriculum. Implementation of this IPE learning event provided an opportunity for students to learn teamwork skills prior to entering practice. This innovative educational activity represented the first collaborative effort to add IPE learning to both the physical therapy and nursing curricula. This annual IPE learning event has been sustained for two years, and led to the development of more IPE activities involving other departments within and outside the university. This learning event, and the relationships that were established between the departments helped build bridges, improve communication, and break down silos that exist in traditional healthcare education.