Integration of Interprofessional Education to Support Teamwork, Communication, and Collaboration in Nursing and Pharmacy

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Conference Proceeding

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Introduction: Evidence supports collaboration, communication, and teamwork are essential competencies for healthcare professionals to impact the delivery of safe, quality care and improve patient-centered outcomes (IOM, 2003). In 2011 the Interprofessional Education Collaborative recommended students in the health professions engage in interprofessional education (IPE) to achieve these competencies. Currently IPE is a required accreditation standard for most healthcare education programs in the US.

Presented is the curricular integration of IPE across the nursing and pharmacy programs at a college in New York. Shared are IPE strategies, challenges, and successes of this integration. Highlighted is a program evaluation of nursing and pharmacy students participating in a TeamSTEPPS® workshop. TeamSTEPPS® is an evidence-based curriculum shown to positively impact patient safety and clinical outcomes. TeamSTEPPS® was developed by the US Department of Defense and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ, n.d.) and is implemented in many healthcare organizations.

Methods: A program evaluation comparing pre- and post-survey responses of students that attended the TeamSTEPPS® workshop was conducted. The adapted TeamSTEPPS® Teamwork Attidues Questionnaire (T-TAQ) and Learning Benchmarks Tool (LBT) measured student perceptions. Student responses to open-ended questions identified key themes and faculty debriefings conducted post-program identifed operational challenges and successes.

Results: Post-program, student perceptions on the T-TAQ and LBT improved in all areas to include leadership, communication, situation monitoring, team structure, and mutual support. For open-ended questions, students reported the TeamSTEPPS® program prepared them to: apply concepts to practice, manage conflict, improve interprofessional communication, and increase situational and team awareness. Curricular restructuring, financial constraints, need for faculty training and resources, and logistics of bringing students from various health professions together are some of the barriers described by faculty.

Conclusion: Strategic IPE activities across pharmacy and nursing curricula provides opportunities for students to practice and faculty to role model evidence-based collabortive practices.


Presented at the 35th Annual International Nursing and Midwifery Research & Education Conference in Dubin, Ireland, on March 3, 2016.

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