Developing health professional students’ handover skills through a virtual, interprofessional handover workshop

Hill, Elaine Alais susannna orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4984-9446, Gordon, Morris orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1216-5158 and Gurbutt, Dawne (2023) Developing health professional students’ handover skills through a virtual, interprofessional handover workshop. Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, 33 .

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Inter-professional education has been identified as a core theoretical pillar for improving learners’ non-technical skills (NTS) and consequently promoting safe patient handover in clinical practice. However, specific handover education, especially in an authentic interprofessional fashion, is rare. Contributing factors include pragmatic and logistical elements, which can potentially be addressed through virtual delivery. We developed a virtual inter-professional handover education programme for undergraduate healthcare students, based on a classroom-based version that we designed and piloted previously. The workshop used interactive large and small group activities to develop understanding of the reasons for poor handover, its implications for patient safety and the skills to undertake structured, focused handover. It specifically included exercises which emphasised the differences between single-profession and interprofessional handover and how miscommunication may arise and lead to errors. The workshop was delivered using Blackboard Learn, Microsoft Teams (version 12) and Vevox (November 2021 version) and based on materials which are readily available in the public domain. 37 students from four professions attended the workshop, which was evaluated using both in-workshop assessment and formal research elements. Handover knowledge and skills, attitudes towards inter-professional handover and confidence in giving and receiving handover increased following the workshop; in addition, students enjoyed taking part and were keen to apply their learning in practice. Content analysis of individual interviews also provides insights into how and why students learned and suggests that the underpinning SECTORS model is appropriate for explaining NTS acquisition in theoretical learning settings, as well as practice. Workshop delivery was both cost and resource effective.

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