Interprofessional Collaborative Practice: Use of Simulated Clinical Experiences in Medical Education

Adriana M. Carpenter, OMS IV; Maureen A. Hirthler, MD, MFA; and Cathy J. King, DNP, RN, CNE
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: February 7, 2018

Accepted: February 13, 2018

Published: April 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(4): 235-242

Context: Mastering the art of assessing interprofessional outcomes has been a topic of interest in academic research. Specifically, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative has been publishing thorough bodies of work that aim to strengthen teamwork among health professionals and reinforce competencies that will lead to better patient care.

Objectives: To determine osteopathic medical students’ perceived effectiveness of simulated clinical experiences in cultivating interprofessional competencies with nursing students.

Methods: Second-year osteopathic medical students (classes of 2016 and 2017) and nursing students participated in a simulated clinical experience using a simulated patient mannequin. Students were assessed on clinical and humanistic skills using graded evaluations performed by faculty and actors portraying family members and given feedback on their performance. Evaluation grades were not analyzed. Students were asked to complete an anonymous survey that assessed their attitudes toward the collaborative experience.

Results: A total of 743 medical students participated in the study—371 from the class of 2016 and 372 from the class of 2017. Incomplete surveys (1 from the class of 2016 and 3 from the class of 2017) were included in the analysis. Statistically significant differences were found between the 2 classes of medical students in their responses to 2 items. With regard to appropriate patient data collection, the ranked distribution of scores was significantly greater for the class of 2014-2015 than for the class of 2013-2014 (mean rank, 389.3 vs 354.64, respectively; U=75,445.50; P=.017). For the item on effective communication with family members, the ranked distribution of scores was significantly greater for the class of 2014-2015 than for the class of 2013-2014 (mean rank, 390.61 vs 353.34, respectively; U=75,928.50; P=.006). Overall, medical students reported feeling better prepared to care for real patients after the simulation.

Conclusions: Simulated interprofessional experiences during the second year of medical school may help prepare students to collaborate with other health care professionals in a clinical setting, take care of patients, and communicate with patients’ family members.

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