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Wednesday, June 18 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.15 – Turning Passive Students into Active Learners through Simulation: Using Standardized Patients to Enhance Interprofessional Infection Control Education for Prelicensure Physiotherapy, Nursing and Medical Students

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Both interprofessional collaboration and adherence to evidence-based infection control practices contribute to patient safety, improved patient outcomes and decreased healthcare costs. Simulation is an educational strategy that encourages active learning, teamwork and communication. Hence an interprofessional education (IPE) simulation module on infection control skills for intermediate-level health professions students using standardized patients (SPs) was developed and trialed in 2012. Feedback was incorporated in 2013 and re-evaluated.

An innovative approach to interprofessional infection control education using SPs aimed to prepare prelicensure physiotherapy, nursing and medical students for collaborative, patient-centred practice to enhance patient safety. Students completed three online modules on chain of transmission, hand hygiene, and routine practices prior to the two-hour IPE session which included an interactive plenary session with an infection control practitioner (ICP) and four brief simulated clinical scenarios using SPs. Interprofessional teams of students interacted with SPs and were expected to select and utilize supplies and protective equipment appropriate to the level of infection control practices dictated by each unique clinical scenario. Debriefing focused on both infection control skills and interprofessional collaboration.

Major changes implemented in 2013 to improve the module were:

  1. Session offered earlier in term to avoid conflicts with midterms, assignments and other IPE initiatives;
  2. Majority of facilitators were Infection Control Practitioners (ICPs);
  3. Formal orientation session was provided to facilitators over lunch and included orientation to specific scenarios, facilitation and debriefing guides;
  4. Individual scenarios tweaked based on feedback; and
  5. More extensive instructions provided to students prior to sessions, including expectations for dressing professionally.

Perceived learning, interprofessional collaboration and the organization and content of the new learning module were evaluated by feedback from learners through a satisfaction survey and focus groups. Learning outcomes were assessed through an online survey administered before and after the sessions. Informal feedback was also provided by faculty observers and ICP facilitators.

Learners reported high satisfaction with the module and its components. Feedback supported the value of the clinical scenarios with SPs in contributing to learning of infection control skills and providing opportunities for learning from and about other health professionals. Learners also identified areas for improvement of the module including providing more practical information and demonstrations during the interactive lecture component. Learner knowledge of infection control practices increased significantly (p<0.03). Learner confidence performing all infection control skills except for hand hygiene increased significantly following participation in the sessions (p<0.05).

Despite having previous education related to infection control practices, intermediate level learners continue to have knowledge gaps and lack of confidence applying these skills. Evaluation results support the need for intermittent reinforcement of infection control knowledge and skills, with a particular emphasis on the clinical context. Identified knowledge gaps and suggestions for further improvement will be incorporated into future sessions as the IPE infection control module becomes fully integrated within the curricula of the three schools.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT
McArthur Hall

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