This project aimed to find ways of staging and evaluating simulations as a tool of interprofessional education (IPE). A series of scripted paediatric emergencies was used to create an intense learning environment to explore knowledge exchange and shared learning between GP registrars and paramedics. Although simulation is a familiar tool in medical education, its use in IPE is difficult to facilitate because of its many dimensions.Methods
A complex set of observational methods was utilised comprising contemporaneous focus groups, questionnaires, video observation and participant feedback. These multiple methods captured richly descriptive data through triangulation, to overcome the problem of simulation becoming a staged performance.Results
The research demonstrated there is great scope for simulation as a tool of IPE despite the time and labour intensity. Participants reported an interesting, exciting, quality learning experience and deep immersion in the scenarios.Conclusion
To achieve its full potential, future IPE simulation would need to be paired with instructional clinical workshops for the practice and evaluation of skills, and close collaboration with the participants’ own medical educators. However the possibilities of enhancing IPE learning by immersing different groups of health care professionals in unfamiliar, scripted, scenarios are probably only limited by budgets and the imagination of educators.
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