Use of human simulations for teaching communication skills in a multidisciplinary team
Badera Naamneh-Abuelhija1, Zahava Davidow2, Shira Rotchild3
1 Badera Naamneh-Abuelhija, PT, MPH , Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa
2 Zahava Davidow, PT, M.Sc, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa
3 Shira Rotchild, PT, M.Sc, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa and Clalit Health Services
|Background: The use of human simulations as a clinical learning tool has developed in recent years and has been recognized as an important tool for improving the communication skills of medical and para-medical professionals. The goal of the simulations is to improve the level of treatment offered by the professionals. During the simulations, the students are exposed to challenging clinical and human situations, which provide a framework for teamwork training and role-playing games that develop communication skills.
|Objective: To examine the curricular integration of human simulations as a clinical learning tool in the Department of Physical Therapy (PT) at the University of Haifa.
|Methods: Simulations were attended by 41 third-year Physical Therapy (PT) students and 50 fourth-year Nursing students. During the simulations, case studies were presented, which included challenges related to the work of a multidisciplinary team, coping with a depressed patient, lack of patient cooperation and more. At the end of the course, students were asked to complete an online feedback form, regarding the learning experience using simulations.
|Results: Most of the students in the PT Department indicated that participation in the simulation contributed to their understanding of the lessons taught in the “Interpersonal Communication” course and gave them additional tools to use during their clinical affiliations and in their future professional career. In addition, most of the students believed that the framework of joint simulations with the nursing students provided added value to the experience.
|Conclusions: Training PT students in interpersonal communication using human simulations is a powerful learning tool through which real-time communication skills are learned and implemented.
|Key Words: human simulation, interpersonal communication, education in physical therapy, multidisciplinary team work