Emergency Preparedness Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Simulation: Students' Perceptions of Understanding and Contribution to Their Community

Sunday, 29 October 2017: 4:35 PM

Ronda M. Christman, PhD, MSN, MA1
Sonia K. Wrate, MSN1
Rebecca L. Retzer, MSN1
Elizabeth J. Scott, PhD, MSN1
Laura Racovita-Szilagyi, PhD, MSW2
Maureen A. Baksh-Griffin, MSN3
Faith A. Laughlin, EdD, MA4
Cynthia F. M. Gettys, PhD, MA5
Brooks H. Kirschmann, BS6
(1)School of Nursing, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, USA
(2)School of Social Work, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, USA
(3)School of Nursing, Cleveland State Community College, Collegedale, TN, USA
(4)School of Education and Psychology, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, USA
(5)Center for Teaching Excellence & Biblical Foundation of Faith in Learning, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, USA
(6)Campus Safety, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, USA

This study explored university students’ perceptions of an Emergency Preparedness Inter-Professional Collaborative Practice (EP-IPCP) simulation. The simulation included participants from the Schools of Education & Psychology, Nursing, Religion, and Social Work at a university located in a rural southeastern community setting. There is a great need for students to be trained to respond should the need arise. With an increase of school shootings, students need to be prepared to act (Cannon, 2016). It is of vital importance that schools be prepared for the unthinkable (Blinci, 2014). Students need to know how to help or what to do when disaster arises. (Brewer, 2010). Incorporating disaster preparedness simulation into nursing education will help prepare nursing students for real life disasters (Kaplan et al., 2011). It is one thing to read a FEMA training module on how to respond, but completely different when one must respond to an emergency. Disaster preparedness training has been found to improve the knowledge and skill to respond to disasters (Alim, Kawabata, & Nakazawa, 2015). In addition to providing emergency preparedness training, students also need to train together with other care providers. Students need to learn together so they will be better prepared to work together in their future healthcare role. Interprofessional education “occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes” (WHO, 2010, p. 7). Simulation standards have expanded to include Standard XIII Sim-IPE which is interprofessional education and practice during the simulation experience (Decker et al., 2015). Engaging students from various care-provider backgrounds in one simulation will enhance their learning with and from each other. This study explored students’ perceptions of community contribution and their understanding of the various roles following participating in an EP-IPCP simulation.

Methods: This mixed methods research design utilized both quantitative and qualitative survey instruments for the convenience sample of adults over 18 years of age. Immediately following the EP-IPCP simulation, the students were divided into small course-specific groups and were given the opportunity to participate in the quantitative online survey. The online survey link was emailed to them and was also available on eClass (learning management system) and they utilized smart phones and iPads to participate. Upon completion of the online surveys, they participated in recorded focus group interviews.

Results: Of the 137 student participants, in 2016, the majority (56%) strongly agreed or agreed they can better contribute to their local community and well over three quarters (86%) feel they have a deeper understanding of the various roles of other career tracks as a result of participating in the EP-IPCP simulation.

Conclusion: Incorporating emergency preparedness into nursing programs is vital for the nation’s health security goals, as well as the future preparedness of professional nurses. Implications for nurse educators are to invest in preparing student nurses for responding to the threat of mass casualty incidents. Nurse educators must embrace and provide students with the skill set to triage and treat patients, and foster collaboration with other professionals in the event of disaster. The EP-IPCP simulation supports change to improve and influence global healthcare.