Leveraging Online Non-technical Skill (ONTS) Simulation to create interprofessional learning experiences for distance education students in the healthcare professions

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Brief Abstract

Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) is remarked as essential to achieving the Quadruple Aim. Can distance education programs provide online activities that effectively promote IPC? The goal of this project was to create an online non-technical simulation that students could experience online or F-2-F that promoted reflection on readiness for IPC.


Dr. Karen Snyder is the Director for the post-professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy at the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences. Over the past 30+ years, she held both management and clinical positions in a variety of clinical settings specializing in orthopedic, neurological, cognitive, behavioral, and pediatric disorders. Her leadership and teaching experiences range from the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral level education in occupational therapy programs at Barry University, Keiser University, and both in the entry- and post-professional programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. Dr. Snyder authored materials presented at the International Autism Conference in Skive, Denmark and Geneva, Switzerland, Autism One Conference in Chicago, IL, as well as presenting in didactic seminars at national, regional, and state occupational therapy conferences. She also published articles in the Florida Occupational Therapy’s FOCUS and College Internship Program Student Life Newsletters, as well as her dissertation research publication in ProQuest.
Dr. Dennison is the Director for the Nursing Programs at the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences. She has extensive experience in critical care nursing, working as a staff nurse, nurse educator, clinical nurse specialist, consultant, and professor. She has also been very involved in planning and providing professional development programs throughout the United States for the last 30 years. She is currently an Educational Consultant at Baptist Health Lexington, a Magnet facility, in Lexington, Kentucky. She has held teaching and leadership positions at University of Cincinnati, Georgetown University, and Chamberlain College of Nursing. Her teaching experience is extensive but she enjoys teaching evidence-based practice, pathophysiology, leadership, and education topics. She has extensive experience teaching online in three different learning management systems. She is currently certified as a critical care clinical nurse specialist (CCNS) by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, as a certified nurse educator (CNE) by the National League for Nursing, and as an advanced nurse executive (NEA-BC) and nursing professional development specialist (BC) by American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is a frequent contributor to nursing journals and books. She is the author of the book Pass CCRN!, which prepares critical care nurses for the CCRN exam, Pass CEN! which prepares emergency nurses for the certified emergency nurse (CEN) examination, and Pass PCCN!, which prepares progressive care nurses for the progressive care nurse (PCCN) examination. All of these books are published by Elsevier. She is also the author of Evaluation Beyond Exams in Nursing Education. Designing Assignments and Evaluating with Rubric, published by Springer Publishing Company.

Additional Authors

Dr. Jordan Utley is an independent interprofessional education consultant with experience in the higher education and private healthcare sectors. Prior to starting her own business, she served in various higher education leadership roles including university director of teaching and learning, IPE Task Force Chair, Program Director (health sciences, healthcare administration, fitness management and athletic training programs) and research faculty. Clinically, she works with athletes from all levels, including providing sports medicine services to United States Soccer teams, Olympic athletes, and extreme sport athletes. She is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) who implemented various cognitive interventions with athletes rehabilitating from sport-injury while earning her doctorate in experimental psychology at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She serves as Chair-elect of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association’s Post Professional Education Committee (PPEC) and served on the Transition to Practice Workgroup where she is collaborating with others to create change for the future athletic training.

Extended Abstract

Interprofessional collaboration (IPC) and effective teaming in healthcare is built on many attributes that are commonly fostered through face-to-face (F-2-F) interactions in the workplace. However, it is common for clinicians going back to school for advanced degrees to seek online, distance education programs. Can these programs provide online activities that effectively promote IPC? Educational simulation for online post-professional healthcare professions students poses a unique challenge when university centers for simulation and innovation are historically geared to prepare pre-license clinicians utilizing patient care scenarios. Shifting the paradigm to emphasize skills such as valuing healthcare peers, roles and responsibilities, communication, leadership and interprofessional collaboration is an effective way to assess higher-level, interprofessional elements of patient care delivery by students who are already practicing clinicians.

Healthcare simulation often takes place in a face-to-face (F-2-F) format, characterized by students interacting with the simulated patient(s) and participating in pre- and debriefing activities. Taking simulation online poses additional challenges that can be negotiated with a creative course design strategy. However, the benefits far outweigh the challenges, affording an interprofessional education experience for learners in different classrooms, cities and countries around the world.

The goal of this project was to create a simulation that students could experience equally online or F-2-F that promoted reflection on post-professional student readiness for interprofessional collaboration. A secondary goal was to establish an assessment map for the activity including IPEC Core Competencies, professional standards and University learning outcomes.

The following resources and outcomes will be shared:

  • The process of taking a paper-based case to an online simulation
  • The unit module including the scenario, pre and debriefing question formulation and assessment strategy
  • The assessment map connecting IPEC Core Competencies, professional standards and University-level learning outcomes

The main take-away from this session is a concept map outlining the process of moving a paper-based IPE case to an online simulation. This map can be applied across healthcare professions/classrooms and is presented in a plug-and-play format with reflection questions and assessment rubrics. Participants will view (parts of) the simulation and test-drive the online student learning experience.