Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ineffective interprofessional communication is an identified issue affecting patient safety in health care. A multitude of barriers 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 student development of effective interdisciplinary communication was delivered to a group of nursing students in the classroom setting. King's Theory of Goal Attainment (1981) and interacting systems framed the event. An evidence-based lecture underpinned importance of effective communication and the potential barriers. A case study and the SBAR tool assisted students 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 supported 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 curricula and practice. Further research is necessary to dete1mine additional interventions to enhance interprofessional communication for the ultimate goal of patient safety