Aim: This paper is a report of preliminary evaluations of an interprofessional education through simulation project by focusing on learner and teacher reactions to the pilot modules.
Background: Approaches to interprofessional education vary widely. Studies indicate, however, that active, experiential learning facilitate it. Patient simulators require learners to incorporate knowing, being and doing in action. A theoretically based competency framework was developed to guide interprofessional education using simulation. The framework includes a typology of shared, complementary and profession-specific competencies. Each competency type is associated with an intraprofessional, multiprofessional, or interprofessional teaching modality and with the professional composition of learner groups.
Method: The project is guided by an action research approach in which ongoing evaluation generates knowledge to modify and further develop it. Preliminary evaluations of the first pilot module, cardiac resuscitation rounds, among 101 nursing students, 42 medical students and 70 junior medical residents were conducted in 2005-2007 using a questionnaire with rating scales and open-ended questions. Another 20 medical students, 7 junior residents and 45 nursing students completed a questionnaire based on the Interdisciplinary Education Perception scale.
Findings: Simulation-based learning provided students with interprofessional activities they saw as relevant for their future as practitioners. They embraced both the interprofessional and simulation components enthusiastically. Attitudinal scores and responses were consistently positive among both medical and nursing students.
Conclusion: Interprofessional education through simulation offers a promising approach to preparing future healthcare professionals for the collaborative models of healthcare delivery being developed internationally.