Safe Medication Administration in Patients with Communication Disorders: A Simulation-Enhanced Interprofessional Education Approach.J Allied Health 2019; 48(4):257-262JA
Medications and their associated side effects impact systems treated by speech-language pathologists and audiologists, such as speech, language, voice, swallowing, hearing, tinnitus, and balance. However, students in these disciplines receive limited training in pharmacology, while nursing students receive training in pharmacology but limited training in communication disorders. In this interprofessional simulation experience to increase understanding of the impact of medications on communication, swallowing, and balance, audiology, nursing, and speech-language pathology students worked together to interview standardized patients (SPs) about their medications and symptoms in a simulated clinical setting. Goals were for students to understand professional roles, identify high-risk medications with potential communication implications, provide patient education, and evaluate interdisciplinary collaboration. The SPs demonstrated symptoms patients may have as they take high-risk medications. Students (n = 101) completed a knowledge pretest, online training, simulation, debriefing facilitated by faculty experts, and posttest and impressions survey. Results indicated high satisfaction with teamwork and interprofessional interactions. Student knowledge of high-risk medications was improved as a result of this exercise, with nursing and speech-language pathology students demonstrating statistically significant improvements in posttest results. While knowledge deficits of some high-risk medications were evident across student groups, the overall effects demonstrated benefits of the simulation-enhanced interprofessional education experience.