Interprofessional communication in a simulation-based team training session in healthcare: A student perspective

Ingunn Aase, Karina Aase, Peter Dieckmann, Conrad Arnfinn Bjørshol, Britt Sætre Hansen


Background: Interprofessional teamwork and communication training have entered the healthcare education setting, mainly investigated through surveys. However, little is known about the student’s perceptions in more depth. The aim of the study was to investigate healthcare students’ perspectives and attitudes towards interprofessional communication in a simulation-based training session.

Methods: The study was designed as an explorative case study based on qualitative content analysis Data was based on observation of two simulation scenarios (“Internal Bleeding”, “Huddle”) and analysis of debriefing sessions with a sample of 48 nursing and medical students in Norway. The study was conducted in May 2013.

Results: We found that interprofessional communication was characterized by two main features: clinical exchange and collaborative exchange. While clinical exchange is “objective” and dependent upon clinical information, clinical skills, and standardized tools and procedures (e.g. SBAR), collaborative exchange is less “formal” and relies on dialogue, cross-disciplinary knowledge and role identity. Students seem to direct most of their attention to clinical exchange, while the patient perspective seems less explicit in the training session.

Conclusion: Exploring the student perspective of interprofessional communication has the following implications for the design and implementation of simulation-based training sessions: (a) to balance clinical exchange and collaborative exchange, (b) to introduce patient-centered exchange, and (c) to contextualize standardized communication tools such as SBAR.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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