Inter Professional Communication In Nursing Education

Afza.Malik GDA

 Nursing Education and Inter Professional Communication

Inter Professional Communication In Nursing Education

Inter Professional Communication,Impacts of Inter Professional Communication,Educational Innovations In Nursing Education,Responsibility of Nurses Educator.

Inter Professional Communication

    Inter-professional communication is the use of verbal and nonverbal methods to engage in collaborative practice with multiple health care professionals for the benefit of patients, families, and communities. Inter-professional communication is defined by the use of effective methods for communicating in teams, with the goals of safe and effective patient-centered practice (Canadian Inter-professional Health Collaborative (CIHC), 2010).

Impacts of Inter Professional Communication

    Inter-professional communication is foundational to establishing collaborative practice. The seminal Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, To Err Is Human, highlighted the scope and severity of patient safety errors, and identified ineffective communication among health care providers as a leading contributor to those errors (IOM, 2000). As a result. health care facilities began work on safe patient hand off procedures such as Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendations (SBAR), which is a best practice in today's health care facilities (Institute for Healthcare Improvement [IHI, 2014). 

    Furthermore, communication standards were added to National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG), which are updated annually by The Joint Commission (TJC, 2014).A subsequent 2003 IOM report challenged health profession educators to avoid educating health professionals in silos in an effort to reduce patient safety errors in practice (IOM, 2003). Educating health profession students together while they are in their curriculum supports the culture of safety cultivated by many health care institutions (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality JAHRQ), 2012).

    To advance inter-professional communication development in health professions students, educators have devised several strategies. One rapidly growing strategy is the use of low- or high-fidelity simulation to create an experience for teams of students. The range of opportunities using simulation is seemingly unlimited. Educators may construct simulations to develop patient hand off skill sets in a nonthreatening environment. or challenge students with a patient stressors where the team must communicate immediately to provide safe patient care ( Reising Carr. Shea, & King, 2011). 

    Along similar lines, standardized patients may be used as a method to promote inter-professional communication for student teams.Whether using simulation or standardized patients, student teams are placed in an environment where they must simultaneously interact with the patient and family. while also collaborating with one another on the best plan of action. Joint or coeducation is also being used to foster inter-professional communication. 

    In the case of coeducation, students from more than one health professions discipline enroll in a course together, and study subjects that are relevant to both (or several) disciplines.Many different topics may serve as the “theme” to educate and help students develop inter-professional communication skills. These themes may be specialty oriented, such as labor and delivery or behavioral health, or process oriented such as managing and delegating patient care. A growing area of education involves error disclosure by health care professionals. 

    Given that patient errors continue to occur, error disclosure best practices are critical to effective communication. Scenarios that include all relevant health care professions allow student teams to practice error disclosure prior to a real situation and provide a valuable learning experience (University of Washington, 2011).Regardless of the strategy or topics being addressed, proper training in inter-professional communication is essential. An evidence-based strategy developed by AHRQ and the United States Department of Defense (USDOD) is the Team STEPPS program. 

    Team STEPPS provides a structure and process for education regarding safe team communication. One of the most meaningful parts of the program is that students learn specific words they may use when encountering a difficult situation such as an errant order or an incorrect procedure. Providing training such as Team STEPPS to health professional students as a group is an ideal method for creating more comfort in an area of great discomfort. Program materials are fully available online (AHRQ, 2013).

    Educators have resources in the construction of inter-professional communication competencies. Two main resources are Core Competencies for Inter-professional Collaborative Practice ( Inter-professional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011) and a National Inter-professional Competency Framework (CIHC, 2010). Additionally, competencies in informatics that also relate to inter-professional education are accessible: TIGER Informatics Competencies Collaborative (TICO Final Report (Technology Information Guiding Education Reform [TIGER], 2009).

Educational Innovations In Nursing Education

    Educational innovations incorporating tools for inter-professional communication have been reported. For example, as a version of SBAR patient hand offs, a standardized inter-professional tool was integrated throughout an undergraduate curriculum. The new tool was used as a consistent method for students to report on patients to both faculty and other care providers ( Enlow , Shanks, Guhde , & Perkins, 2010). In a study of medical, nursing, pharmacy, and physician assistant students, a 4-hour joint training that included a component of Team STEPPS was evaluated for its impact on inter-professional communication. 

    The results indicate that the joint training session significantly, and positively, influenced ratings with regard to communication in general and inter-professional communication (Brock et al., 2013).Faculty have used round tables, simulation, and standardized patients to develop inter-professional communication skills. In one study, researchers found that simulation experiences in medical and nursing student teams were superior to round tables for the advancement of inter-professional communication skills ( Reising et al., 2011). 

    In another study, using standardized patients for health professions students improved confidence in communication skills (Solomon & Salfi , 2011) Health professions faculty have also integrated inter-professional communication competencies into stand-alone communication courses, as well as courses that focus on inter-professional communication ( Doucet , Buchanan, Cole, & McCoy, 2013).

Responsibility of Nurses Educator

    Nurse educators must emphasize the importance of the entire health care team in the protection of patients. Developing evidence-based interpersonal and inter-professional communication skills is fundamental to ensuring sound practice that will promote patient quality and safety. Coeducation or training is strongly recommended in health professions curricula. The literature on the many different and innovative methods to develop interprofessional communication skills is rapidly expanding. Nurse educators should seek opportunities with other health professions faculty to further advance teamwork skills, and are encouraged to publish and present their innovations and experiences.

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