Mitzi Scotten, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS
Background: Effective communication skills amongst members of the health care team is paramount in the delivery of safe medical services. Education of all members involved in patient care remains challenging for multiple reasons. While nursing and medical staff work in concert with each other in the hospital setting, the curriculum which provide education to nursing and medical students generally remain separate and in parallel. Objective: To introduce the practice of effective communication skills through multidisciplinary patient simulation scenarios using nursing and medical students during their clinical pediatric rotation. Methods: Pediatric simulation cases were instituted using a multidisciplinary team of first and second year nursing students and fourth year medical students. Sessions introduced both student groups to the team approach via scenarios involving simulated pediatric patients. Medical students were introduced to a standard nursing reporting system; the situation, background, assessment and recommendation model known as SBAR and medical students began mastering skills in the use of electronic medical records for order writing. Scenarios included both urgent and non-urgent situations and focused on common pediatric illnesses seen in the inpatient setting. Results: Simulations began in March of 2010. We evaluated the students experiences through post-scenario feedback sessions and questionnaires. Student feedback supported our hypothesis that the introduction of the multi-disciplinary scenarios was well accepted across disciplines. Students reported increased comfort in cross professional communication skills after the experience.