orange iconOperational Response Level: Restricted ›

Academic News

Introducing Interprofessional Education to Nursing Students

October 19, 2012

Cartoon credit: Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative

On September 21st, 2012 the Nursing Department at Red River College held its first inter professional education (IPE) seminar. According to the Center for Advancement of Interprofessional Education, IPE is defined as occurring ‘‘when two or more professions learn with, from and about each other to improve collaboration and the quality of care.’’ This seminar included 59 health care aide students and 49 nursing students.

A simulation was created to provide students with the opportunity to experience the roles of other professionals and support staff. The content emphasis in the simulation was related to communication, shared leadership and patient centered care.  Students were placed into groups and assigned a position as a health care professional/individual to enact from a formulated scenario. The roles included in this skit were a patient, family member, nurse, health care aide, medical radiation technologist, and physiotherapist. The case scenario was:

The patient is a 70 year old female who has a 20-year history of osteoarthritis. She was admitted for a total hip replacement and is now three days post op. Her past medical history includes diabetes and osteoporosis. This morning when attending to the patient to assist with morning care, the Health Care Aide (HCA) observes an increased work of breathing and this observation is reported to the Registered Nurse (RN). An x-ray order is obtained to rule out post op pneumonia.


The RN and HCA enter the patient’s room together, while family members are present, and work together to position the client so the RN can assess the client. Once the X-ray technologist arrives, all members involved assist the client and position her for portable x-ray. The family members are quite concerned as they were expecting their mother to be discharged home in a couple of days.

Each student was given a time frame to attend both the simulation and a debrief. Students were not graded on their performance during the case study/simulation however nursing students were required to complete a reflective assignment.  Reflection is a requirement in interprofessional education. Use of literature was required to support or negate what was represented during the case study in terms of concepts of interprofessional education. Overall the reflective assignments featured positive feedback related to the experience, and students were able to relate the collaborative care competencies to their involvement in the simulation.

For more information on Interprofessional Education please refer to the WHO document: Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice

For more information on the Interprofessional Education Course in the Nursing Department, please contact Jennifer Otto at 204-632-2922