Introduction: Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) programs must create learning environments conducive to interprofessional teams to prepare PMHNP
students for their expert roles. Interprofessional Education (IPE) activities are ideal for simulating the collaborative practice environment. Within IPE activities, students must learn to care for patients' physical and mental health needs across their lifespans.
Problem: The institution needed IPE offerings highlighting patient diversity, equity, and social determinants of health when providing interprofessional care.
Methods: University faculty developed an interprofessional simulation to evaluate healthcare students' attitudes and perceptions of interprofessional collaboration when exposed to a simulated patient scenario of a vulnerable older adult with complex medical and
psychiatric comorbidities from a diverse background. PMHNP students, supported by an interprofessional healthcare team of adult acute-care nurse practitioner, pharmacy, and occupational therapy students, were presented with a vulnerable older adult case scenario. The team engaged in a simulation activity with a standardized patient to assess the patient's needs and develop an interprofessional treatment plan.
Results: Paired-sample t-tests of the students' interprofessional perceptions, as scored by the SPICE-R2 tool, showed a statistically significant improvement in the total score and two of three subscale measurements. The students demonstrated strong team performance, as measured by the C-ICE instrument. Focus groups provided positive feedback regarding the standardized patient interaction and the collaborative platform for the activity. The students demonstrated consideration of the patient's social determinants of health when creating their interprofessional care plan. Due to time limitations and a greater focus on acute medical needs, students did not incorporate the standardized patient's culture and ethnicity as priorities when developing a care plan.
Conclusion: This activity gave PMHNP students a unique interprofessional learning opportunity to care for a vulnerable older adult with complex medical and psychiatric needs.
Keywords: older adult, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, interprofessional education, simulation, social determinants of health, cultural diversity
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