Ward rounds: developing a collaborative best practice model of interdisciplinary teaching for multidisciplinary practice



Publication Details

Andersen, P., Tait, N., Walsh, K., Gaetani, P., Jones, A. & Brown, A. (2012). Ward rounds: developing a collaborative best practice model of interdisciplinary teaching for multidisciplinary practice. SimHealth 2012: Making Teams Work. 10-13 Sept, Sydney, Australia: Australian Society for Simulation in Healthcare.


Ward rounds are an everyday occurrence in clinical practice. They provide the means for assessing patient care needs and communicating these within a multidisciplinary team. The literature demonstrates poor ward round practice contributes to poor patient care outcomes (O'Hare, 2008). Garling (2008) identifies that there is a need to change current practise and facilitate more effective interdisciplinary communication. This presentation reports collaborative research between The Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISL HD) and The University of Wollongong. Using a Practice Development methodology, the aim of the research is to develop and test a best practice model for conducting ward rounds and develop interdisciplinary communication and team work. The model and accompanying teaching resources arising from the project will be incorporate into undergraduate Medicine and Nursing curricula and later extended to New Graduate Nursing, Pre-Vocational JMO and Junior Allied Health staff induction programmes. Immersive simulation and debriefing supported by facilitated workshops and online resources which focus on developing communication and teamwork, provide the medium to bring students from differing health disciplines together and support interdisciplinary teaching. Details regarding the best practice model, the interdisciplinary simulation structure, teaching package, supporting learning objects including the results of pre and post intervention testing to date will be presented. This presentation will be of particular interest to people involved in health professional education who are interested in developing interdisciplinary partnerships and teaching resources utilising simulation to facilitate the development of interdisciplinary communication and team work, and enhance the work readiness of graduates of health programmes - making teams work!

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