Preparing students for clinical rotations provided an ideal opportunity for interprofessional practice at the Clinical Skills Experience held recently in UTMB’s Interprofessional Nursing Simulation Center. Nursing students served as instructors and coaches for medical students gaining skills for basic procedures and learning to manage high-acuity situations.
“It is a natural fit to bring these two professions together to learn with each other,” said Dr. Rachel Kilgore, director of the Interprofessional Nursing Simulation Center and coordinator of the event. “We provided a low-risk environment so that these professions could practice together in preparation to work in teams in the real world.”
The course is required for medical students preparing for clinical rotations in their third and fourth years.
“Students learn basic procedures such as peripheral intravenous catheter insertion, venous blood draw, nasogastric tube insertion, urethral catheterization, hand hygiene and point-of-care testing,” said Dr. Bill Boudreaux, medical educator for the School of Medicine.
Nursing students in their final semester at UTMB who are enrolled in the Clinical Capstone course volunteered to help the medical students with their clinical skills. According to course director Dr. Rebeka Watson Campbell, the nursing students were well-versed in the procedures and able to put their skills into action as they collaborated in small groups. They demonstrated the procedure and provided coaching while medical students practiced on simulated patients.
“The saying is true: ‘Learn one, do one, teach one,’” she said. “The students learn the most when they teach others.”
According to Watson Campbell, the key to interprofessional activities is to make the event interactive, meaningful and realistic. Faculty members from the School of Nursing provided instruction and oversight for skills clinicals and simulations. Students in both schools gained mutual respect as their knowledge of each other’s roles and understanding of professional contributions to health care increased. The clinical lab experience is an example of activities that will be incorporated in UTMB’s new Quality Enhancement Plan, IPE2Practice, designed to enrich the interprofessional culture at UTMB.