Lightning Talk

Unintended Consequences of Switching to Synchronous, Virtual Simulations for Interprofessional Learners

Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm CDT

Our Lightning Talk will address how health disparities and bias, especially in underserved and marginalized populations, can be addressed in an Interprofessional Simulation through telehealth. The coronavirus pandemic shifted our interprofessional (IP) simulations from in-person to virtual environments. We analyzed the qualitative differences and impacts of two complex simulations involving students and Standardized Patients (SP) before and during the pandemic. The two simulations included an angry inpatient with a medical error and a low-income, geriatric woman seeking pain medication in a charity clinic. Students were from medical, nursing, dental, public health, and informatics disciplines. Data were collected and analyzed from two different periods: August 2019-May 2020 (in person) and August 2020 to May 2021 (virtual/telehealth). Assessments were captured using the Interprofessional Collaborative Competency Attainment Survey (ICCAS) and qualitative feedback through open-ended survey questions. Effect sizes were calculated for the pre-and post-surveys using Cohen’s d for independent samples. A total of 1,910 students participated in 2019-2020, and 2,026 students participated in 2020-2021. Both simulations occurring in 2019-2020 resulted in a large effect size (0.84) signifying high impact; however, when analyzing the virtual cases, only the medical error resulted in a large effect size (0.81), while the charity care had a medium effect size (0.64). In the medical error case, the SP is an angry businessman. In the charity case, the SP has limited body language and is soft-spoken. She states repeatedly that she cannot pay, has recently lost her job, and requests medication for her pain. It is only when the students are handed results that state she has a significant spinal fracture that her injury is considered emergent. The debrief was focused on noticing internal bias and the subtle cues from patients they see in a virtual environment. Student feedback will be discussed.