An Inter-Professional Simulation Promoting Collaboration And Problem Solving Among Nursing And Allied Health Professional Students

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An Inter-professional Simulation Promoting Collaboration and Problem Solving among Nursing and Allied Health Professional Students

An Inter-professional Simulation Promoting Collaboration and Problem Solving among Nursing and Allied Health Professional Students


Theoretical Background

The cost of health care has risen to an unsustainable level without a sequential increase in patient safety. Cost is growing at a 7% rate; however, patient safety is improving by only 1% to 2% annually (National Quality Forum, 2009). Neither the cost nor the safety records are at acceptable levels. A major barrier to improving health care safety and reducing costs is ineffective communication and collaboration among health care professionals (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2003).

A call to action has been sounded in the health professions. Improved communication, collaboration, and problem solving among health care teams through interprofessional education (IPE) are necessary (IOM, 2003). Teamwork and collaboration should be taught to students in prelicensure nursing programs to improve health care quality and patient outcomes. These pedagogic goals were identified by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) consortium (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2010).

Simulation technology offers students an opportunity to actively engage in learning. Simulation intertwines evidence-based practice and patient safety to engage students. During the simulation, integration of safety principles and active participation occur as the scenario progresses (Galloway, 2009).

Simulation has been used successfully to implement active learning strategies among health care professionals. Medical students showed an improved understanding of clinical anatomy after participating in simulation (Johnston & McAllister, 2008). Simulation has been used for orienting surgical nurses to cardiac surgery (Rauen, 2004), developing nurse's confidence in making emergency department triage decisions (Wolf, 2008), and enhancing nursing skills necessary for a bone marrow transplant unit (Kuhrik, Kuhrik, Rimkus, Tecu, & Woodhouse, 2008). Integration of didactic information and relationships among presenting conditions is often synthesized during simulation scenarios (Rauen, 2004). Although simulations have been successful, each of these studies described a simulation focused on a specific profession and did not involve IPE.

Teamwork between interprofessional health care providers is essential. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) developed an evidence-based teamwork system to improve communication and teamwork skills with the goal of producing effective health care professionals who can potentially improve patient outcomes (2010). The United Kingdom's Nursing and Midwifery Council (2010) recognized that nursing students need interprofessional standards to work with and learn from social and health care professionals. An interprofessional health care team working toward the goal of providing the right services to the right patient at the right time improved patient outcomes regarding acute pancreatitis (Headrick & Khaleel, 2008). The Washington, DC American Health Education Consortiums (AHEC) developed an interdisciplinary curriculum targeting the medically underserved that involved four universities, 15 disciplines, and 16 clinics (Lambert, Stone, Cameron, & Hoar, 2010).

To address the management of chronic conditions, coordinate care, and think collaboratively, several universities offer an interprofessional health science degree ( [Saint Joseph University, 2010] and [Western Michigan University, 2010]). The University of Maine offers an interdisciplinary training program for rural health care (University ...
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