You Couldn’t Make This Up If You Tried: TeamSTEPPS® Unleashed
2:00 pm, September 4, 2013. A conversation with an interprofessional (IP) health care team provided a wake-up call to the Office of Interprofessional Initiatives at the Medical University of South Carolina. While our students entered practice settings well prepared in their content knowledge and skills, they lacked skills in working in an IP team, reflecting the fact that there was no continuum of learning shared between the hospital and the university.
Plans were immediately put in motion to give students opportunity to become strong IP team players. TeamSTEPPS® was selected as the framework to teach teamwork skills, the goal was set for all students to graduate with TeamSTEPPS® training, and this is being achieved through the integration of TeamSTEPPS® in a required IP course for all first-year students.
The first two pilot attempts showed that lectures were not the best method for teaching, despite having TeamSTEPPS® master trainers. The initial plan was scrapped. With sound learning principles for backup, students became the “teachers”. All first-year students are divided into IP groups of 20, each led by a trained facilitator. Each group is subdivided into 5 small groups, each responsible for teaching one of the 5 key principles of TeamSTEPPS®. Groups have 5 minutes to give an overview of their assigned key principal to the other 15 members of their class and provide a 5-minute activity that demonstrates their key principal.
As a result in this change from lecture to “students teaching students”, students’ overall satisfaction scores for the course rose from 3.9 to 4.31 on a 5-point Likert scale. Furthermore, students self-reported team skills improved. What started as a couple of lone “nuts” promoting team training has turned into a movement that seems to have no bounds.