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Students Collaborate in IPE Simulation

Excerpt taken from:
MacCalman, C., and McGovern, B. (2013). Interprofessional education activity: Paramedic students and emergency registered nurses in a trauma simulation. Retrieved from

Emergency room nurses and paramedics work together on a daily basis as patients are transferred from pre-hospital to emergency department care.  An opportunity for interprofessional collaboration was identified between the Paramedic program and the Fundamentals of Emergency Nursing program in the School of Health Sciences at Humber College.  Traumatic injury is one circumstance where paramedics and emergency registered nurses (RNs) collaborate and communicate in order to deliver quality health care.  A trauma scenario was created for the IPE session using a simulation mannequin. Sixteen RNs studying emergency nursing observed 4 paramedic students (two first semester and 2 in their final semester) assess, intervene and transfer a person who had fallen down a flight of stairs.  Transfer of care was simulated by two RNs who triaged the paramedic crew.  After the simulation, a productive debriefing occurred.  Students examined traditional barriers to communication including workload of the RN and lack of understanding about scope of practice on the parts of both RNs and paramedics.  The RN’s developed an appreciation of the context and environment in which paramedics’ practice.  Students considered what information is required in report, and different methods of communicating, such as SBAR.  Role clarification was discussed by students regarding scope of practice and legislative authority of their respective professions.  Questions and answers were facilitated by two faulty and contributed to the learning of both the paramedic students and ER RNs.  Students commented that more time and additional simulations would be valuable. Future collaborations between these two groups are forthcoming.