It is important that students get ample hands-on training now to be a more competent provider in the future. It is one thing to read the textbook and complete a module on how to do a specific treatment, but it’s completely different experience to treat multiple patients at the same time and administer patient specific treatments. In addition to providing training in the skills lab, students also train together with other healthcare providers. They learn to collaborate with other disciplines which in turn prepares them for their future healthcare roles. They also learn to advocate for change in the healthcare arena through practice and policy development. Interprofessional collaborative practice occurs “when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, careers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care, it allows health workers to engage any individual whose skills can help achieve local health goals” (WHO, 2010, p. 7). The standards for simulation have expanded to include Sim-IPE Standard XIII (Decker et al., 2015). Engaging students from multiple healthcare roles in one simulation will help them learn with and from each other.
In addition to providing simulation for the nursing class, students also need to train together with other care providers, such as social workers and advanced practice nurses. This experience provides a rich learning environment when students of different disciplines work shoulder to shoulder to develop and expand their skill set. Interprofessional collaborative practice occurs “when multiple health workers from different professional backgrounds work together with patients, families, careers, and communities to deliver the highest quality of care, it allows health workers to engage any individual whose skills can help achieve local health goals” (WHO, 2010, p. 7). The standards for simulation have expanded to include Sim-IPE Standard XIII (INACSL, 2016). Interprofessional simulation can provide a real-world experience and has been found to be beneficial to help promote teamwork (Pinar, 2015). Engaging students from multiple care-provider backgrounds in one simulation will help them learn with and from each other. Interprofessional simulation showed increased knowledge, understanding, and confidence in working with other professions (King, Conrad, & Ahmed, 2013). Another study found that interprofessional simulation experiences improved collaborative decision making and trust among the various healthcare providers (Liaw, Siaw, Zhou, & Lau, 2014). The goal of this study was to provide students from various departments and nursing levels the opportunity to care for multiple patients simultaneously and to practice collaboratively with diverse healthcare providers.
Methods: A mixed methods research design was utilized for this convenience sample (N = 60). Following the simulation, students were in role-specific cohorts and participated in recorded focus group interviews. Following the interviews, the participants completed the quantitative online surveys utilizing smart phones and iPads.
Findings: Of the 60 student respondents, 88% strongly agreed or agreed that this MP-IPCP simulation was beneficial to their role as future providers. Self-reports from students (100% ASN, ACNP and 86% MSW) indicated they interacted appropriately with the IPCP team members.
Implications: Implications for nursing education include faculty being receptive to and advocating for innovative methods of preparing students for practice in a complex healthcare environment. Further implications include influencing healthcare and policy while working as a team in interprofessional collaboration. In recent months, clinical simulation standards have expanded and should be utilized to include guidelines for health profession educators to provide scenario-based, best practice interprofessional education through simulation (INACSL Standards of Best Practice: SimulationSM, 2016). It is encouraged for educators to include MP IPCP early and often in the program’s clinical experiences. It is vital to insure initial and ongoing faculty development in MP IPCP pedagogical and debriefing best practices. A promising method to prepare a collaborative ‘practice-ready’ healthcare workforce is to provide students with the opportunity to participate in an interprofessional simulation. Nursing education enhances and supports MP-IPCP simulation as a strategy to improve and influence global healthcare.
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