Using a Simluation Environment to Facilitate Collaborative Interprofessional Communication and Learning


Evidence shows that collaborative healthcare practice improves outcomes, such as safety and quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the importance of teamwork and collaboration between healthcare providers and patient centered care. Creating interprofesional education (IPE) opportunities allows healthcare students to build collaborative team-based skills fostering better communication for future clinical practice. The purpose of this activity was to provide learning opportunities for nursing and physical therapy (PT) students to practice safe and comfortable communication with other healthcare professionals with the goal of providing exception care of patients using an IPE simulation lab.


The Nursing and PT IPE faculty collaborated to provide the students with three simulation scenarios involving a licensed independent practitioner (LIP) rounding on patients. Students acted out a variety of roles including: group leader, patient, nurse, PT, family member and observer. Interprofessional student teams were asked to call the LIP, provide critical information in SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recommendation) format, explain condition of the patient and also receive feedback in a multidisciplinary manner in order to provide care for the patient. Students were assessed prior to the simulation exercise regarding their comfort level of collaboration with providers, and then again after the simulation concluded.


PT and Nursing students felt increased confidence with approaching and collaborating with LIPs and other healthcare professionals following the IPE activity. They identified that their participation in the activity helped them become a more effective member of a healthcare team. Ultimately, students valued the collaboration and were able to verbalize the positive impact on patient care. Students recognized that asking for assistance from a team member does not indicate a knowledge deficit regarding their own job performance. All students stated they felt their clinical experience in the field would be enhanced having completed this simulation exercise.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: The Pursuit of Excellence in Physical Therapy Education

Interprofessional collaboration and training at the student level enhances the practice of novice nurses and PTs. This opportunity provided students with an increased understanding of each discipline, and the importance of collaboration and communication within healthcare teams to deliver high quality patient care. Ongoing exposure to interprofessional experiences are critical to prepare healthcare students for collaborative communication and teamwork.


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  • Control #: 2514882
  • Type: Platforms
  • Event/Year: ELC2016
  • Authors: Dr. Janna Kucharski-Howard, Cheryl Babin, Lorraine MacDonald, Gayle McGinty
  • Keywords:

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