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Interprofessional Simulation Study Educates Nurses and Physicians About Communication

Monday September 13, 2010
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“When patients communicate with different professionals, they may tell them different things,” says Nikki Llorin, Team Lead, Marketing and Communications at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, noting that studies show that greater collaboration between medical and nursing teams optimizes healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

“We wanted to give students experiences in talking to each other in simulated settings,” Llorin says.

So to enhance interprofessional communications, BJC and Washington University School of Medicine created simulations pairing 14 third-year medical students in their surgical clerkship with 14 upper division nursing students in their final term of study. The team members participated in two case scenarios using standardized patients that focused on patient issues of pain.

“It provided an arena where nursing students and medical students were able to see each other’s role in the healthcare team,” says Beth Haas, MPH, director of the Clinical Simulation Institute. “This experience provided opportunities for both sets of students to explore and discuss the differences they encountered during the scenarios.”

Jane Ammeson is a freelance writer.