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An Interprofessional Learning Experience with Occupational Therapy Assistant and Physical Therapist Assistant Students through a Simulated ICU Event

Samantha Harris, PT, DPT, EdD and Brooke Gentry, OTR/L

South College Nashville


  • Describe interprofessional education and the benefits that this type of experience has on learning within health professions.
  • Discuss the strategies for implementing an interprofessional education event in a health profession educational program.
  • Evaluate the impact of this type of learning event on students within health profession educational programs.


The purpose of this research study was to determine if interprofessional learning occurs for both occupational therapy assistant (OTA) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) students during a simulated intensive care unit patient experience. Each student completed the Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS) pretest prior to the event. The students underwent an educational lecture, lab demonstrations, and training for the performance of the practical application. The students participated in a simulated patient experience of a scenario pertaining to a patient in an ICU setting. Following the experience, the students completed the post-test Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale (IEPS). Statistical analysis indicated that IEPS pre-test mean scores (M = 90.45) were significantly different than the IEPS post-test mean scores (M = 90.45), (t [23] = 5.43, p > .005). This analysis indicates that student learning with all subscales of the IEPS were improved with an interprofessional simulated learning event. Interprofessional events involving PTA and OTA proved to be beneficial to the student in multiple realms and should be incorporated into the curriculum of the respective programs.

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