Preparing students to work collaboratively in an acute care environment through an interprofessional simulation experience.


The use of simulation during interprofessional education (IPE) has been shown to be an effective strategy for improving teamwork, communication, and collaboration among health profession students; and it can increase student self-efficacy and preparedness for clinical situations.1-6 Also, interprofessional (IP) peer teaching can be an effective tool for improving communication and developing increased understanding of other professions’ roles.7-10 The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of combining IP simulation and peer teaching on students’ attitudes, values, and beliefs regarding IP collaboration.


A novel IPE simulation experience was employed where nursing students (n=51) developed, implemented, and participated in simulation scenarios designed to replicate an acute care setting. During the simulation experiences, PT (n=53) and OT (n=48) students worked together to co-treat patients while consulting with the nursing student role-playing the staff nurse. With faculty guidance, nursing students were also responsible for running the simulation scenarios. Students completed the Performance Assessment Communication and Teamwork Tool (PACT) assessments before and after the simulation experience (70% response rate).11,12 The sum of scores for each content area of the PACT were analyzed using mixed model ANOVAs. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.


All students, regardless of profession, demonstrated a significant increase in post-test scores compared to pre-test scores for following content areas: Familiarity working and training in teams (p<0.001), Satisfaction with interprofessional training (p<0.001), Learning and performance (p<0.001), Learning environment (p<0.001), Skills (p<0.001), and Mutual support (p=0.017). For the content areas that did not demonstrate a significant increase in scores, students scored an average of 4.38 on pre-testing (1-5 scale) creating a ceiling effect. When assessing the PACT free response question “What is the most important learning experience you took away…” four themes emerged: 1) The need for teamwork and collaboration for effective patient care 2) The importance of communication to develop a plan of care 3) Increased understanding of the roles of other professions 4) The importance of respect and trust in IP teams.

Conclusions/Relevance to the conference theme: Through the Looking Glass: Transforming Physical Therapy Education

Regardless of the student responsibility, combining IP simulation and peer teaching was an effective experiential learning technique for improving student understanding of the roles of other professions in an acute care environment and increasing student appreciation of the need for communication, collaboration, and respect to facilitate teamwork. By increasing student understanding of roles and responsibilities of other professions and increasing their understanding of what is needed for optimal teamwork, we propose IP simulation experiences can lay the groundwork for students to successfully strengthen their IP skills during future internships.


1. Bandali KS, Craig R, Ziv A. Innovations in applied health: Evaluating a simulation-enhanced, interprofessional curriculum. Medical Teacher. 2012;34(3):e176-e184.
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6. Wilhaus J, Palaganas J, Manos J, et al. Interprofessional Education and Healthcare Simulation. National League of Nursing & Society for Simulation in Healthcare Symposium; 2013.
7. Dunleavy K, Galen S, Reid K, Dhar JP, DiZazzo-Miller R. Impact of interprofessional peer teaching on physical and occupational therapy student's professional role identity. Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice. 2017;6:1-5.
8. Dunleavy K, Sposetti V. Interprofessional Peer Teaching: Physical Therapy Students Teaching Dental Students to Transfer Patients. Collaborative Healthcare: Interprofessional Practice, Education and EvaluationCollaborative Healthcare: Interprofessional Practice, Education and Evaluation. 2017;7(2):Article 2.
9. van Schaik SM, Regehr G, Eva KW, Irby DM, O'Sullivan PS. Perceptions of Peer-to-Peer Interprofessional Feedback Among Students in the Health Professions. Acad Med. 2016;91(6):807-812.
10. Sadowski CA, Li JC, Pasay D, Jones CA. Interprofessional Peer Teaching of Pharmacy and Physical Therapy Students. Am J Pharm Educ. 2015;79(10):155.
11. Chiu CJ, Brock D, Abu-Rish E, et al. Performance Assessment of Communication and Teamwork (PACT) Tool Set. Accessed 9-23-2015
12. Chiu CJ. Development and Validation of Performance Assessment Tools for Interprofessional Communication and Teamwork (PACT) In unpublished dissertation: University of Washington; 2014.

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  • Control #: 2751547
  • Type: Posters
  • Event/Year: ELC2017
  • Authors: Dr. Chad Lairamore, Clinta Reed, Veronica Rowe
  • Keywords:

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