Bringing Baccalaureate Nursing and Health Sciences Students Together for Oral Health IPE in Simulation Lab

Monday, 30 October 2017

Christina Murphey, PhD
College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, TX, USA

Introduction: The IOM’s committee’s vision for oral health care is to allow quality care across the life cycle. One recommendation was to expand the involvement of all health care professionals in oral health care. Interprofessional education (IPE) and training among dental and nondental health care professionals will be important for a work-ready collaborative practice team. Although nurses are at the helm to lead, design, deliver and coordinate these evidences based approaches, the inclusion of, and collaboration with, allied health professionals will be important for meeting the growing demands of the health care industry and the complex process of oral health care access and service delivery. Emerging allied healthcare workforce job titles include care coordinators, patient navigators, and community health workers. Many allied health professionals obtain their education through baccalaureate studies. Historically, many baccalaureate health science students do not participate in IPE and simulated learning activities. Therefore, understanding the role of the allied health professional and participating in shared experiences are important aspects of IPE so that nurses and allied health professionals can contribute to team-based care. The objective of this project is to (1) bring together baccalaureate nursing and health science students through a shared core set of oral health competencies and standardized simulation experiences, and (2) develop acute care and community simulation resources for use in IPE between nursing and allied health science programs. Methods: The Smiles for Life Interprofessional Comprehensive Oral Health Curriculum were used as anchor content and woven into specified nursing and health science courses and activities. Senior nursing and health science students came together for standardized patient experiences related to oral-systemic health assessment and intervention (nursing students), patient education, discharge planning in acute care and community simulated experiences at the Islander Regional Hospital simulation laboratory, and public dental health referrals. The 18-item Student Satisfaction and Self-Confidence in Learning (SSSCL18) 5 point Likert-scale with open ended questions was administered to students (n =33) post learning activities to assess personal attitudes about instruction and oral health IPE experiences they received during course work and simulated activities. Intended Outcomes: The proposed simulation resources will include: (1) a PowerPoint presentation to elucidate the role of allied health professionals in the provision of oral health care, (2) the development of an interprofessional simulation scenario template for a standardized learning experience in a simulated acute care setting with medical-surgical patients experiencing an oral health or dental problem, and (3) a checklist and discharge planning form for oral health services. Results: This project is in-progress. Preliminary data reports are positive. Conclusions: Interprofessional education (IPE) and training is important for a work-ready collaborative practice team. Understanding the role of the allied health professional and participating in shared activities around oral health are important aspects of IPE allowing nurses and allied health professionals to contribute to team-based care and further the goal of incorporating oral health care into overall care.