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Practicing interprofessional communication competencies with health profession learners in a palliative care virtual simulation: A curricular short report

, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, United States ; , EdPlus at ASU Instructional Design, United States ; , Ida Johnson Feaster Professorship in Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE), The, United States ; , Academic Innovation and ASU Center for Advancing Interprofessional Practice, United States

Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice Volume 15, Number 1, ISSN 2405-4526 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This 6-week learning activity used an online virtual reality environment through Second Life® to advance interprofessional education with a convenience sample of undergraduate and graduate health professions learners through a simulated palliative and end-of-life care conference. The activity was implemented in four phases: scheduling, pre-learning, virtual simulation engagement, and a guided reflection discussion for closure. Four learning objectives guided the activity and addressed learner ability to: critique individual team communication performance using selected sections of the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR)1, demonstrate at least two specific communication skills while participating in the activity, share a list of the patient/family goals for end-of-life care, and propose at least three different strategies that could be used in their future practice to facilitate effective interprofessional care delivery. Faculty used a grading rubric to assess learner achievement of the four learning objectives. A mixed methods approach evaluated the effectiveness of the activity and effect on self-reported learner attitudes and future practice.This educational resource was an effective, accessible, and low-risk learning modality for advancing interprofessional competencies in education for practice. Teaching strategies that emphasize situated learning and reflective learning support interprofessional competency development. Use of virtual reality technologies engages learners in realistic scenarios in a safe environment free from the risk of harm to patients and families, allowing small groups of learners to meet synchronously online, and providing an alternative to face-to-face synchronous scheduling of multiple health professions disciplines, thus reducing strain on program budgets and scheduling logistics. Materials are shared and may be adapted to prepare learners for other contexts of practice.


Sanborn, H., Cole, J., Kennedy, T. & Saewert, K.J. (2019). Practicing interprofessional communication competencies with health profession learners in a palliative care virtual simulation: A curricular short report. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 15(1), 48-54. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 26, 2022 from .

This record was imported from Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice on June 3, 2019. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice is a publication of Elsevier.

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