The effect of an interprofessional clinical simulation on medical students

  • I Treadwell
  • M van Rooyen
  • H Havenga
  • M Theron


Background. Teamwork as an outcome for graduates implies the  understanding and appreciation of the roles, responsibilities and skills of other professions. An interprofessional education (IPE) event was initiated as a simulated management of a multiply traumatised patient in the acute phases of his injury, relevant to both medical and nursing students. The objective was to explore medical students’ reflections on the value of this clinical simulation.
Method. A mixed-methods study was done, using a convenience sample of 5th-year medical students (N=96). Participants wrote a multiple-choice
question (MCQ) test and either actively participated in the simulation or observed the actions through a one-way mirror. The simulations were
facilitated by experienced skills trainers. On completion, the participants repeated the MCQ test and took part in a facilitator-led debriefing. The
latter was audiotaped and students could submit written reflections. Written comments and transcripts of the audiotapes were analysed thematically.
Results. Participants’ average test scores improved significantly (p<0.001) from 63.5% before the simulation to 68.6% thereafter. Five themes emerged from the reflections: (i) difficulties with implementing knowledge and skills; (ii) importance of teamwork; (iii) skills necessary for teamwork; (iv) effect of being observed by peers; and (v) IPE in the curriculum.
Conclusions. Medical students gained clinical knowledge during the   simulation and became aware of their lack of skills, knowledge, and  opportunities to acquire and practise skills required for effective teamwork.

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: