Background:: Interprofessional education (IPE) is a collaborative approach to achieve greater quality of patient care by establishing a foundation of respect, understanding, and teamwork between different healthcare professions. Although there have been studies exploring the effects of combining medical students with students of other disciplines such as nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy, there have not been many interprofessional attitudinal studies amongst emergency medicine (EM) nurses and medical students during EM clerkships
Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine if IPE encounters with EM nurses and medical students rotating in their EM clerkship affects interprofessional attitudes toward patient care. During these IPE encounters, medical students were tasked with gaining understanding of nursing roles and also proficiency with specific patient care skills.
Methods: Clerkship medical students completing a four hour IPE session with EM nurses at a tertiary care hospital setting were selected as a cohort and served as their own control group. Nurses and medical students completed pre- and post- encounter attitudinal surveys derived from the Jefferson Scale of Attitudes Towards Physicians-Nurses Collaboration. Pre and post change scores (Post-Pre) were summarized as mean and 95% confidence intervals. The changes were compared via paired t-tests.
Outcome: Results from 44 participants showed statistically significant changes (p<0.05) after the IPE encounter. Medical students felt the need for more collaborative interprofessional approaches in the development of treatment plans and discharge planning . They were more likely to find that nurses had special expertise in assessing and responding to patient psychological needs, as well as patient education and psychological counseling. Nurses felt that it was more feasible to collaborate with physicians regarding patients treatment plan.