Utilizing Goal Attaimnent Concepts To Empower Nursing Students For Effective Interprofessional Communication

Andrea M. Nelson


Ineffective interprofessional communication is an identified issue affecting patient safety in health care. A multitude of baniers can impact interactions between and among disciplines leading to relationship strain and adverse patient outcomes. Nursing and other health care professions have limited curricular focus on interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. Interventions to improve interprofessional teamwork and collaboration are important foci for students in the health care profession. A learning event with the goal of sh1dent development of effective interdisciplinary conununication was de] iverecl to a group of nursing students in the classroom setting. King's Theory of Goal Attaimnent (1981) and interacting systems framed the event. An evidence-based lecture underpi1med importance of effective communication and the potential baniers. A case study and the SBAR tool assisted sh1dents to organize and plan for interactions with physicians. A period of reflection following the case study allowed for expression of perceptions related to the interactions within personal, interpersonal, and social systems required for effective health care teams. Students engaged learning within the affective domain through discussion about emotional responses related to communication strategies and received formative feedback from faculty. Dialog s·upported acknowledgments of heightened awareness regarding the importance of interdisciplinary communication and tactics to improve effectiveness of interactions. Discussion among participants of the learning exercise substantiated the need for increased emphasis and incorporation of interprofessional communication training in health care cunicula and practice. Further research is necessary to determine additional interventions to enhance interprofessional communication for the ultimate goal of patient safety.