Research

Simulation as an educational strategy to deliver interprofessional education

R van Wyk, M J Labuschagne, G Joubert

Abstract


Background. Various educational methods are available to deliver interprofessional education (IPE) to prepare healthcare students for collaborative practice. One such method is simulation-based health education.

Objectives. To identify current IPE methods used in undergraduate programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, and to determine the opinions of module leaders on using simulation as a particular IPE teaching strategy.

Methods. A quantitative, cross-sectional descriptive study design was employed. Structured interviews were conducted with 47 module leaders of the undergraduate programmes in the Faculty of Health Sciences. These programmes cover 66 modules in the Schools for Allied Health Professions (nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and optometry), nursing and medicine.

Results. At the time of the study, IPE activities were used in 29 (43.9%) of the modules, of which 17 (58.6%) were coincidental. Respondents’ opinions on the potential use of simulation to address formalised IPE activities included the challenge of ‘scheduling’ (73.9%) and ‘logistical and high cost issues’ (19.6%). The most prominent advantage that was foreseen (41.3%) was better clarification of roles among the different professions.

Conclusions. The module leaders had a positive attitude towards simulation and its potential use for IPE, with their major concern being logistical challenges. To improve role clarification, a scenario should be developed to engage students from all the relevant professions. The proposed type of simulation was to use standardised patients in a role-play scenario. The outcomes of these activities should be aligned with the principles of IPE.


Authors' affiliations

R van Wyk, Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

M J Labuschagne, Clinical Simulation and Skills Unit, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

G Joubert, Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Keywords

Simulation; Advantages; Collaborative practice; Interprofessional education; Challenges; Patient centred; Community

Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2020;12(2):74-80. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2020.v12i2.1213

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-07-07
Date published: 2020-07-07

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