Grants and Research Committee Research Annotation, November 2011

By Stacy Walker

Author(s):  Barnett GV, Hollister L, Hall S.
The authors hold positions in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah.

Year: 2011
Article:  Use of the Standardized Patient to Clarify Interdisciplinary Team Roles; Clinical Simulation in Nursing
Publication:   Patient Education Counseling; 7:27-30.

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the experience of students in the health sciences functioning as an interdisciplinary team.
N=386, Students in the Health Sciences:

  •   100, fourth-year medical students
  •   90, pharmacy doctoral students
  •   30, physical therapy, occupational and audiology doctoral students
  •   8, nutrition master students
  •   70, third-semester nursing students

Participants were divided into interdisciplinary teams with members from each profession totaling 4 to 6 in each group. Each team member interacted individually with a standardized patient while other members of the team observed. Once all of the SP interactions were finished the teams spent 30-40 minutes developing a plan of care and were then debriefed.
Participants then completed an evaluation of the experience using a likert scale (4=strongly agree, 0= strongly disagree).

Participants felt the standardized patient interaction was valuable (3.38), they learned something useful about their health care colleagues (3.59) and they increased their comfort level in communicating with other health care professionals (3.29).
The results show participants learned from this experience and felt more at ease in their communication with individuals from other disciplines as a result of this experience. Participants also reported they wanted more time to get acquainted with the other members of their team.
The authors have provided solid preliminary data of the benefits of challenging students to function as an interdisciplinary team.

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