Lightning Talk

Teaming from the Start: A Pilot Program for Team Learning of Technical Skills and Clinical Reasoning Involving Entry-level Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Nursing Students

Thursday, October 1, 2020, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

The purpose of this presentation is to describe a pilot project designed to improve student preparation for working together in the interprofessional clinical environment. When patients and families report that their care seems disorganized, it is often due to inefficiency resulting from an unfamiliarity with what each member can contribute. Often, this apparent inefficiency is really a reflection of the team's lack of familiarity with the scope and depth of each other's professional practice. When professional programs provide silo-based learning experiences, it creates students who have learned all of their necessary technical, behavioral, and reasoning skills solely with their own profession. Competency is assessed to ensure proficiency before students transition to clinical practice but possessing personal competency in a skill does not always translate into the ability to perform these same skills efficiently and effectively as part of an interprofessional team. The missing element is practice. Students need opportunities to practice their skills with students from other professions before transitioning to the clinic or hospital to care for actual patients. This Lightning talk will describe an interprofessional project that was designed around the shared skill of vital sign assessment. This activity was added to the schedules of the first year nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy programs. It was timed to occur after all students had individually learned the skills of vital sign assessment in their professional programs but prior to any of the students attending their first patient care clinical experiences. The experience combined technical skill practice with a group Think-Pair-Share interaction that required the team to engage in clinical reasoning on behalf of a patient with hypertension. This activity created an intentional experience where students demonstrated their profession-specific techniques related to a skill that each profession performs regularly, and then worked as a collaborative team to evaluate a patient education resource.