Undergraduate students' view of multidisciplinary working over a 3-year study on interprofessional simulation learning
Introduction: Interprofessional simulation training at undergraduate level has been tested (1) but is still very scarce due to curriculum and logistical issues. Our simulation specialists worked with staff from most health disciplines within the University to develop a range of scenarios relevant to students that are involved in the final year Interprofessional Education module (2). Data collected from students' during sessions between 2007-2010 with some support from the Higher Education Academy (UK) and a University Learning and Teaching Enhancement award is presented. Hypothesis: Interdisciplinary simulation will improve students' perception of multidisciplinary working when comparing data collected over 3 years, pre and post high-fidelity simulation (3) exposure. Methods: 30 multidisciplinary simulation sessions were conducted with a total of 237 students from Adult/Children/Learning Disability/Mental Health Nursing, Paramedic, Radiography, Physiotherapy, and Pharmacy. During any session, each student was involved in one of 2 scenarios as part of a small team with 3-4 disciplines and using actors, simulated patients and SimMan/SimBaby, and remotely observed the other scenario tackled by their peers. Depending on whether they were allocated to the control or experimental group, students were answering 5 questions about interprofessional working before or after the simulation session using a Likert scale (1=strongly disagree, 5=strongly agree). This study was granted ethical approval as part of a larger educational project. Results: The statements and responses were: I am confident about working as part of a multidisciplinary team (3.46 SD=0.86, Control; 3.94 SD=0.81, Experimental; p=0.000); working as part of a multidisciplinary team would make me feel anxious (2.60 SD=1.09, Control; 2.30 SD=1.04, Experimental; p=0.033); I feel I know what other professionals can and cannot do (2.99 SD=0.89, Control; 3.27 SD=0.84, Experimental; p=0.013); learning with other healthcare students before qualification improves relationships after qualification (4.09 SD=1.13, Control; 4.27 SD=0.83, Experimental; p=0.167); interprofessional learning before qualification helps me become a better team worker (4.02 SD=1.14, Control; 4.35 SD=0.82, Experimental; p=0.011). Discussion/Conclusion: A supportive atmosphere, realistic scenarios, students' involvement, and the correct environment are important factors to fully immerse the participants. The results show that there are differences between the groups' responses to the questions. Experimental group students answered all questions with a more positive attitude towards multidisciplinary working and this was statistically significant for all but one statement. Despite the small intervention (2 scenarios/debriefings), students felts significantly more confident about working as part of a multidisciplinary team. Introducing multiprofessional simulation pre-qualification was a valuable experience and could help students develop teamworking skills4 and feel more confident in the clinical setting.