Aim of the study – To develop and evaluate an interprofessional simulated ward environment workshop for pre-clinical medical and nursing students enhancing collaborative team working and basic clinical skills in preparation for clinical placements.
Background Health professional education providers are challenged to provide innovative educational approaches to train health professionals who on qualifying, can work collaboratively to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex health arena. Interprofessional simulation is a rare event within undergraduate programmes despite being advocated by both the GMC (2009) and the NMC (2010), the professional bodies governing the standards of education provision in the UK.
The development of a simulation suite on site, predominantly used for postgraduate training, identified an opportunity to develop interprofessional simulation for undergraduate students.
Methodology A three bedded simulated ward was designed, incorporating scenarios representative of common acute clinical presentations. Participants were nursing and medical students in their 1st and 2nd year respectively. Common learning outcomes were identified across both curricula. An action research approach was taken. Focus groups were conducted to explore the views of both students and faculty on the effectiveness of this educational approach and identify issues for consideration for planning the next cycle of research. Data was also collected from observational notes, video recordings of the simulation, and debriefing sessions. Data was analysed using thematic analysis.
Results/outcomes Participants evaluated the workshop extremely positively. Participants felt it had increased their understanding and appreciation of other health professionals’ roles, with increasing collaboration and teamwork. Increase in knowledge, skills and confidence in preparation for ward placements were also demonstrated.
Conclusions and recommendations Interprofessional simulation is an enjoyable and effective learning strategy which is underpinned by established educational theories. Opportunities should be offered to students early in their programmes to exploit the potencies this approach offers. Inherent problems were identified in relation to timetabling and resources.
General Medical Council. Tomorrow’s Doctors’: Outcomes and standards for Undergraduate Medical Education, 2009
Nursing and Midwifery Council. Standards to support learning and assessment in practice. London: NMC, 2010
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