Interprofessional Emergency Training Leads to Changes in the Workplace
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Interprofessional Emergency Training Leads to Changes in the Workplace

  • Author(s): Eisenmann, Dorothea
  • Stroben, Fabian
  • Gerken, Jan D.
  • Exadaktylos, Aristomenis K.
  • Marchner, Mareen
  • Hautz, Wolf E.
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Preventable mistakes occur frequently and can lead to patient harm and death. The emergency department (ED) is notoriously prone to such errors, and evidence suggests that improving teamwork is a key aspect to reduce the rate of error in acute care settings. Only a few strategies are in place to train team skills and communication in interprofessional situations. Our goal was to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate a training module for students of three professions involved in emergency care. The objective was to sensitize participants to barriers for their team skills and communication across professional borders.

Methods: We developed a longitudinal simulation-enhanced training format for interprofessional teams, consisting of final-year medical students, advanced trainees of emergency nursing and student paramedics. The training format consisted of several one-day training modules, which took place twice in 2016 and 2017. Each training module started with an introduction to share one’s roles, professional self-concepts, common misconceptions, and communication barriers. Next, we conducted different simulated cases. Each case consisted of a prehospital section (for paramedics and medical students), a handover (everyone), and an ED section (medical students and emergency nurses). After each training module, we assessed participants’ “Commitment to Change.” In this questionnaire, students were anonymously asked to state up to three changes that they wished to implement as a result of the course, as well as the strength of their commitment to these changes.

Results: In total, 64 of 80 participants (80.0%) made at least one commitment to change after participating in the training modules. The total of 123 commitments was evenly distributed over four emerging categories: communication, behavior, knowledge and attitude. Roughly one third of behavior- and attitude-related commitments were directly related to interprofessional topics (e.g., “acknowledge other professions’ work”), and these were equally distributed among professions. At the two-month follow-up, 32 participants (50%) provided written feedback on their original commitments: 57 of 62 (91.9%) commitments were at least partly realized at the follow-up, and only five (8.1%) commitments lacked realization entirely. 

Conclusion: A structured simulation-enhanced intervention was successful in promoting change to the practice of emergency care, while training teamwork and communication skills jointly.

 

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