Are Nursing Students Appropriate Partners for the Interdisciplinary Training of Surgery Residents?

Journal of surgical education

PubMedID: 26002533

Stefanidis D, Ingram KM, Williams KH, Bencken CL, Swiderski D. Are Nursing Students Appropriate Partners for the Interdisciplinary Training of Surgery Residents?. J Surg Educ. 2015;.
Interdisciplinary team training in a simulation center recreates clinical team interactions and holds promise in improving teamwork of clinicians by breaking down educational silos. The objective of our study was to assess the appropriateness of interdisciplinary training with general surgery residents and nursing students.

Over 2 consecutive academic years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014), general surgery residents participated in interdisciplinary team-training simulation-based sessions with senior nursing students. Scenario objectives included demonstration of appropriate teamwork and communication, and clinical decision making; sessions incorporated interdisciplinary debriefing of the scenarios. Participants were asked to assess their team-training experience and the appropriateness of their team-training partner. Responses were compared.

A total of 16 team-training sessions were conducted during the study period. Overall, 12 surgery residents (67%) and 44 nursing students (63%) who had participated in at least 1 session responded to the survey. Although both residents and nursing students indicated that the knowledge and team skills acquired during these sessions were useful to them in clinical practice (73% vs 86%, respectively; p = not significant), residents rated their educational value lower (3.3 vs 4.3 on a 5-point scale, respectively; p < 0.01) and only 18% of the residents felt that these sessions should be continued compared with 90% of nursing students (p < 0.05). Most useful components of the sessions were participation in the scenario (73%) and debriefing (54%) for residents and for the nursing students, debriefing (91%), observation of others (68%), and interaction with resident physicians (66%) ranked highest; 48% of student nurses preferred residents as team-training partners whereas 100% residents preferred practicing nurses and 0% with nursing students owing to their limited clinical experience.

Interdisciplinary team training and debriefing of surgery residents with nursing students is feasible and highly valued by nursing students. Nevertheless, our experience indicates that residents do not prefer nursing students as team-training partners owing to their limited clinical experience and would rather train with experienced nurses.