Background: High-fidelity simulation is becoming increasingly important in the delivery of teaching and learning to health care professionals within a safe environment. Its use in an interprofessional context and at undergraduate level has the potential to facilitate the learning of good communication and teamworking, in addition to clinical knowledge and skills.
Methods: Interprofessional teaching and learning workshops using high-fidelity paediatric simulation were developed and delivered to undergraduate medical and nursing students at Queen's University Belfast. Learning outcomes common to both professions, and essential in the clinical management of sick children, included basic competencies, communication and teamworking skills. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation was undertaken using published questionnaires.
Results: Quantitative results - the 32-item questionnaire was analysed for reliability using spss. Responses were positive for both groups of students across four domains - acquisition of knowledge and skills, communication and teamworking, professional identity and role awareness, and attitudes to shared learning. Qualitative results - thematic content analysis was used to analyse open-ended responses. Students from both groups commented that an interprofessional education (IPE) approach to paediatric simulation improved clinical and practice-based skills, and provided a safe learning environment. Students commented that there should be more interprofessional and simulation learning opportunities.
Discussion: High-fidelity paediatric simulation, used in an interprofessional context, has the potential to meet the requirements of undergraduate medical and nursing curricula. Further research is needed into the long-term benefits for patient care, and its generalisability to other areas within health care teaching and learning.
© Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2010.