Investigating the Value of Interprofessional Education through an End-of-Life Experience
At the end of this workshop, the participant will be able to:
- Assess how the end-of-life process is an ideal venue to discuss and highlight the IPEC competencies.
- Discuss the use of qualitative and quantitative data in evaluating student socialization and value of interprofessional education activities.
- Discuss implications of end-of-life interprofessional education on clinical practice for healthcare professional students.
According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a lack of interprofessional collaboration (IPC) has been noted in end-of-life care, yet the interprofessional approach is recognized to be a best practice in palliative care. The American Association of Colleges of Nurses requires both end-of-life and interprofessional education in nursing curriculum.
Although there are efforts to increase end-of-life education, most healthcare professionals are not prepared to care for the dying in a collaborative, interprofessional fashion. In 2009, the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) was formed to facilitate team-based healthcare approaches in health professions schools to optimize patient and healthcare outcomes. However, due to its nascent history, outcome measures for these competencies have yet to be established.
The faculty at Regis University has focused on prioritizing IPC with the intention of producing progressive healthcare leaders who understand the changing healthcare landscape. In response to the IPEC organization and IOM's plea to study palliative care, an end-of-life simulation was created. Nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and counseling students participated in a two-hour interprofessional end-of-life simulation event. Upon arrival, participants were assigned to assure professional representation at each roundtable. Participants were assessed quantitatively by the Interprofessional Socialization and Valuing Scale (ISVS-9A) prior to the simulation. They then listened to attributes of the end-of-life journey followed by role-playing (a later version of the tool) from a patient case. Afterwards, students self-assessed using the ISVS-9B5 as well as self-reflected on four questions based on the Ignation Pedagogy.
Preliminary data is robust with 114 quantitative responses and 55 participants (48%) completing the post reflection. A paired t-test revealed a statistical significance in change through student responses with p-value ≤0.05 in seven of nine questions. Qualitative themes included: how might this material change your practice revolving around meeting people where they are at; transforming your paradigm and practice; the action the simulation required of the students; and how the student was transformed as a result of participation in this simulation. Responses from students from various themes included: increased preparation for real-life situations; hearing other discipline perspectives; all team members are important; increased self-awareness of being uncomfortable in this situation (around death); and the importance of listening and effective communication. To conclude, the students’ value of interprofessional practice was enhanced through the end of life simulation, as evidence by positive gains in the ISVS assessment tool. The qualitative themes reported the importance of listening, empathy, and an increase awareness of uncomfortable situations, such as end of life issues. These preliminary results support the need for further exploration of end of life as a platform for IPE and its potential impact on clinical practice.
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