Background: The healthcare environment is becoming increasingly complex and demanding; therefore, providers need to possess both technical and non-technical skills to respond in unexpected circumstances. Self-awareness and regulation are non-technical skills where an individual becomes aware of personal and others’ emotions and then modulates those emotions to effectively act during a challenging situation. Educational programs need to embed more opportunities for students to develop these skills to enhance patient outcomes. Purpose: The purpose of this research study was to explore student self-perceptions of self-awareness and self-regulation when experiencing unexpected situations in an interprofessional clinical simulation. Methods: Healthcare students (n = 109) from four disciplines participated in this qualitative research study involving an interprofessional small group, face to face simulation with unexpected circumstances. Following the simulation, participants engaged in a semi-structured debriefing. Comments were recorded and analyzed to develop a thematic structure. Results: Participants had varying views about their level of preparedness to handle complex, unexpected situations ranging from feeling not prepared at all to recognizing that they need to be equipped for anything. Students also reported a greater appreciation for the interprofessional team, acknowledging the need for one another as they navigated unexpected circumstances. Some students used their self-awareness and regulation skills in the moment to manage their emotions and move to action in response to the unexpected circumstances, while others benefited from observing and hearing from others during the simulation and debriefing session. Conclusions: The interprofessional simulation helped to prepare students to navigate unexpected challenging patient care circumstances. Students experienced some role and action confusion in response to the emotionally charged scenario; however, they recognized the importance of being self-aware, regulating their own emotions and the skills of the interdisciplinary team to best meet the needs of the patient and family. Additional opportunities for non-technical skill practice should be included in healthcare curriculums to enhance students’ preparedness for the current healthcare environment. Further research is recommended to determine best practices for teaching these non-technical skills.
Espiritu EW, Busby S, Hunt JW, Brown R, Hallmark BF, Cochran K, et al. Students’ Self-Perceptions of Self-Awareness/Self-Regulation when Experiencing Unexpected Situations in an Interprofessional Clinical Simulation. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2021 Jan 01;19(1), Article 11.