Interprofessional Education (IPE) has become an integral part of education in all health sciences, however little data exists to determine if this model is helpful in clinical practice. Too often, there is a gap between education and practice. We present our post-graduate results for our IPE simulation curriculum for the Nursing, Medicine, and PA programs.
Patient care is always provided by multidisciplinary teams in the hospital; however education of students continues to be isolated and conducted in silos. Recently, interprofessional education has been utilized to maximize the learning environment, create interactive learning, and teach non-cognitive aspects of health care. Numerous models have been used to quantify the benefit of these curriculua, but follow up of graduates has been difficult due to many factors.
Transition to practice is often the most difficult for health care students. While clinical knowledge is easily assessed, employers spend a great deal of time developing a collaborative work environment, effective communication, and professional rapport. Our IPE curriculum was started to replicate these issues and encourage students to improve their communication and teamwork. To assess the effectiveness of our curriculum, we followed all students prospectively and assessed their development after they began their career using interviews and Likert surveys. We believe this is the only way to show validation for our curriculum. Since the goal of this program is to enhance teamwork, communication, and rapport amongst professionals, it is very difficult to quantify the effectiveness and as a result, we rely on subjective experiences of the graduates. Finally, since this program is integrated into other educational models and the student’s experience is cumulative, confounding is inherent in the data but minimized.
There were 17 of 28 graduates who responded and all 17 of them believed IPE was important for their career and thought it had improved their communication skills and teamwork. All respondents would suggest the curriculum to current students and 95% thought it should be mandatory. Finally, a number of graduates were asked about this curriculum by their employer during the interview process.
Obviously, the sample size is small but it had positive results. We believe that this data shows the effectiveness of our curriculum. As part of our institution’s emphasis on IPE, curriculum utilizing the simulation centers will become an integral part of the core IPE initiative. Finally, the fact that employers are asking about our curriculum at interviews may represent improved preparedness of the graduates compared to other students and may be an advantage in the job market. In addition, having professionals who interact in patient care can have a major impact on patient satisfaction and build a culture of teamwork in the practice setting.
See more of: Evidence-Based Practice Sessions: Oral Paper & Posters