Nursing and Physical Therapy Students Learning and Collaborating Together

Thursday, 27 July 2017: 3:50 PM

Mary Francis, PhD1
Robert Wellmon, PhD2
Kristin Lefebvre, PhD3
Ellen Erdman, DPT3
(1)School of Nursing, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA
(2)Institute for Physcial Therapy Education, Widener University, Chester, PA, Aland Islands
(3)School of Physcial Therapy, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine student's attitudes and beliefs regarding interprofessional learning (IPL) and collaboration (IPC) following an interprofessional transfer laboratory experience. The study also explored student's perception of professional identity and self-efficacy.

Methods: Forty-nine doctorate of physical therapy (DPT) students and 136 baccalaureate student nurses (BSN) were assigned into groups of 1 DPT and 2-3 BSN students. One week prior to the laboratory experience, the students attended a lecture discussing how to transfer a patient and the importance of mobility during a hospitalization. The lecture focused on the clinic decision making involved in deciding how to transferring a patient, the hazards of immobility for a patient, and the body mechanics involved in actually moving a patient. The student's expectations for the mobility lab were reviewed at this time. During the laboratory experience, five different clinical scenarios were provided to the students to allow them multiple opportunities to practice transferring a patient out of bed into a chair (variations included different weightbearing statuses, diagnoses and devices). The laboratory experience was scheduled for 90 minutes. Immediately following the laboratory experience all students participated in a 30-minute debriefing that included various DPT and BSN subgroups. Surveys were sent to participants one week prior to the experience to collect pre-experience data. Students completed their post- survey immediately following the debriefing. Valid and reliable measures of IPC and IPL were used to collect data. Measures included the Interprofessional Education Perspective Scale (IEPS), the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning scale (RIPLS), the Attitudes Toward Healthcare Teams Scale (ATHTS), the Confidence for Interprofessional Learning and Cooperation scale (CILC), and the Self-Efficacy for Experiential Learning (SEEL). ANOVA and paired sample T tests were performed using SPSS 21.0 to measure between and within group differences arising as a result of the experience.

Results: DPT and BSN students showed significant improvements in competency and autonomy (p<.002), perceived need for cooperation (p<.005), perception of actual cooperation (p<.003) as measured by the IEPS. In addition, student showed a significant improvement in team work and collaboration (p<.001) and professional identity (p<.001) as measured by the RIPLS. The ATHTS showed significant findings around improvements in team value (p<.001) and team efficiency (p<.001) and finally several items of the SEEL showed significant improvements around student perceptions of self efficacy (p<.001).

Conclusion: Study participants reported improvement in domains identified in the literature as important to interprofessional learning and collaboration following an interprofessional transfer laboratory experience. Areas of greatest improvement included student’s perceptions of self-efficacy, team work, team value, team efficiency, competency and autonomy. Student's perceptions described during the debriefing were a new self-awareness of mobility skills and their ability to convey instructions to others. Students appreciated the opportunity to work with another discipline and felt it increased their understanding of professional roles.