It’s Time to Go!

Unfolding Interprofessional Simulations to Promote Health Team Communications


  • Cara Gray UNCW
  • Robin Cunningham UNCW
  • Stacey Kolomer University of North Carolina Wilmington



Interprofessional, communication, simulation, standardized patient


Interprofessional education provides an opportunity for allied health professions to gain knowledge of health care team roles, and how discrete disciplines collaborate to contribute to a healthcare team. This interprofessional activity used simulation scenarios with simulated patient actors to introduce students in three healthcare disciplines to the communication and collaboration skills used by teams for hospital discharge planning and follow-up care in a home setting. Participation in the simulations was voluntary and open to students majoring in either social work, recreation therapy, and nursing. Three, two-person teams, representing each discipline, participated in a two-part, unfolding simulation to assist with the discharge of an older adult from the hospital, and an assessment and care/teaching one week later in his home. Following the simulation, students wrote reflective journals about their experiences, and completed a brief survey. Post simulation responses to the RIPLS Questionnaire, and one of its subscales, yielded positive results in relation to improved attitudes towards interprofessional learning and positive professional identity. Students’ reflective journals reinforced the impact of interprofessional educational activities on acquiring knowledge about other disciplines. Lessons learned from this activity are being used to develop future interprofessional scenarios to augment the academic preparation of pre-professional healthcare workers in multiple disciplines.


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