Skill development in team-based health care and the ability to work interprofessionally improves patient outcomes and works towards eliminating health disparities (Office of Minority Health & National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work, 2012). Concurrently, evidence suggests that the inclusion of simulation experiences in the classroom enhances skill development among both social work and nursing students (Bogo et al., 2017; Damewood, 2016). Recent literature on the use of simulation in social work and nursing education focuses on interprofessional practice, particularly within healthcare settings (Bolesta & Chmil, 2014). Research on such interprofessional simulation experiences indicates that students exhibit increased interprofessional communication skills and preparedness for future interprofessional experiences after participating in the simulation activity (Bolesta & Chmil, 2014). A separate but related line of research considers the critical role of clinicians in providing culturally congruent care, particularly given the national focus on decreasing health disparities. Much like interprofessional practice, evidence links the provision of culturally congruent health care to increased patient outcomes (Jeffreys, 2016). However, there is a gap in the literature between culturally congruent practice behaviors and interprofessional skills. Thus, this study aimed to explore the correlation between culturally congruent practice behaviors and interprofessional practice – specifically, interprofessional communication and teamwork – in an interprofessional healthcare simulation with social work and family nurse practitioner students.
The simulated patient was a 50-year old man presenting to primary care in a rural area for complications related to alcohol use and hepatitis c. The simulation included a nurse practitioner visit, followed by a warm hand-off from nurse practitioner to social worker, and finally a social work visit. We recruited 80 MSW and MSN students from a small private university in New England. To be eligible for participation, both groups of students had to be in their final years of their respective programs.
Culturally congruent practice behaviors were measured by the Cultural Competence Clinical Evaluation Tool – Student Version (CCCET-SV) (Jeffreys, 2016). Interprofessional teamwork and communication skills were measured by the Performance Assessment Communication and Teamwork (PACT) (Chiu et al., 2014). The CCCET-SV is an 83-item measure, with each item rated on a 10-point Likert scale where 1 indicates ‘not at all’ and 10 indicates ‘to a great extent’. There are three scales embedded within the 83 items that are related to: 1. culturally specific care; 2. cultural assessment; and 3. culturally sensitive and professionally appropriate attitudes, values, and beliefs. The PACT is a 100-item measure, with each item rated on a 5-point Likert scale where 1 indicates strongly disagree and 5 indicates strongly agree with 14 subscales. For the purposes of this study, six subscales were used: 1. skills, 2. team structure, 3. leadership, 4. situation monitoring, 5. mutual support, and 6. communication.
Descriptive and correlation analysis were conducted using Pearson’s correlation coefficient to determine if a statistically significant linear relationship exists between culturally congruent practice behaviors and interprofessional teamwork and communication skills. Culturally congruent practice behaviors were assessed overall and in the three subscales. Interprofessional teamwork and communication skills were assessed overall and in six subscales.
The sample (N= 80) included Master of Social Work students (n=28) and family nurse practitioner students (n= 52). The majority of the sample was White (67%) and female (87%). Results indicated a moderate and positive relationship between student CCCET-SV total scores and PACT communication (r=.360,
- Understand the key aspects and goals of the interprofessional simulation experiences for social work and nursing students
- Discuss interprofessional teamwork and communication skills related to culturally congruent practice behaviors
- Understand the importance of simulation experiences and implications for practice