Simulation-based education (SBE) has been used to augment and/or partially substitute clinical learning as it provides a controlled setting with natural, realistic, and relevant practice experiences, without risk of injurious patient consequences. Interprofessional SBE (IP-SBE) provides a platform for students to learn about, from, and with one another to develop and practice interprofessional collaborative (IPC) competencies. However, socio-historical hierarchies that are predominant in healthcare cultures often emerge in simulation, negatively impacting interprofessional learning. Creating conditions of psychological safety in IP-SBE can address the subtle coercive practices that exist amidst the power differentials within healthcare and facilitate fuller participation of students in their application of IPC competencies. This scoping review was conducted to better understand the barriers and enablers to implementing psychologically safe IP-SBE.
An interprofessional team of researchers, representing nine health professions as well as simulated patient educators, conducted the scoping review. Research team meetings and discussion of findings supported interprofessional learning amongst the research team. This research aims to build capacity to enhance IP-SBE facilitation skills that are psychologically safe. Lessons learned will be shared with the SBE community to establish psychologically safe IP-SBE.
IP-SBE, facilitated in ways that are non-threatening, supportive, non-judgmental, while treating mistakes as learning opportunities creates conditions for psychologically safe learning. Identifying barriers and enablers of psychologically safe IP-SBE is crucial for effective learning of IPC competencies, a necessity to develop health care professionals who are able and willing to collaborate to provide safe, quality patient-centered care.
The intentional engagement of researchers and simulated patient educators from multiple professional backgrounds to examine the barriers and enablers to psychologically safe IP-SBE serves to enhance the understanding of this concept for the greater SBE community. The overall aim of IP-SBE is for students to learn about, from, and with one another to work collaboratively on interprofessional teams.