Purpose: The purpose of this study was two-fold and consisted of the development of a skills-based model for Case-by-Collaboration (CBC) and the collection of qualitative data from students and teachers aimed at answering the research question: What skills do individuals (students) apply during the completion of a hypothetical medical laboratory management-based Case-by-Collaboration capstone project? Method: A consensual qualitative research design was selected for this study. Students and their instructors from three Medical Laboratory Science programs located in Texas, New York, and Missouri were recruited. Students were given a case that centers on the fictitious Cheapskate Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). The project culminated when each team presented their proposal to become the sole provider of laboratory testing services to the Cheapskate HMO Board of Directors (BOD). The project was initially designed to be accessed and completed online, where students from different institutions would come together and remotely complete the requirements. Data were collected through in-person observations of the final presentation, semi-structured interviews with students and instructors, and analysis of project documents. Data was coded, and transcripts were reviewed numerous times. Two strategies were employed to ensure the integrity of the study. First, the coded data were examined across the data collection strategies, transcripts containing the data, and the themes identified by a researcher and an outside auditor. Secondly, an audit trail was established to document how the data were collected and analyzed, along with documentation of the thought processes used in the data interpretation phase of the project. Results: The current study analyzed responses from 36 students and 5 instructors across the three data collection sites. Seven themes, in the form of skill sets, were identified in the data analyzed:1) information technology, 2) collaboration/team building, 3) verbal and written communication, 4) clinical reasoning, 5) creativity, 6) managerial, and 7) research/investigative. Conclusion: These results suggest the CBC can develop desirable soft skills. This model can be transferrable and apply to CBCs independent of the studied content. Thus, the CBC is an innovative model to teach soft skills across health disciplines.

Author Bio(s)

Elizabeth A. Gockel-Blessing, PhD, MLS(ASCP)CM, is an Associate Dean for Students and Academic Affairs for the Doisy College of Health Sciences and an Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical Health Sciences at Saint Louis University.

Tyler A. Wood, PhD, ATC, is the Coordinator of Clinical Education for the Athletic Training Program and an Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology & Physical Education Department Northern Illinois University.

Nicholas E. Grahovec, PhD, LAT, ATC, CSCS, is the Program Director of the Athletic Training Program and an Assistant Professor in the Kinesiology & Physical Education Department Northern Illinois University.





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