Interprofessional Healthcare Student Training: Over 300 students from the UW Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy to Participate in Team Communication Training

Harborview Medical Center and University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, May 19-22, 2014. For the fifth year in a row, the University of Washington will be hosting healthcare professional students for a week of immersive team training simulation in the areas of Adult, Pediatric and OB/GYN Acute Care (May 19-22).

Effective communication among health professionals is essential to high quality, patient-centered healthcare.  Yet at present, few training programs exist to impart these interprofessional communication skills, and most existing curricula in this area are directed towards practicing clinicians rather than trainees. In 2008, the University of Washington received funding from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and Hearst Foundation (over $1 million) to develop an interprofessional curriculum for healthcare professional students based on the Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) model of effective communication (Project Co-PIs: Dr. Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN and Dr. Brian Ross, PhD, MD). Since this time, faculty and other representatives from the UW Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and MEDEX (Physician’s Assistant) program have developed a truly interprofessional training curriculum for these students. Led by the efforts of Dr. Brian Ross, PhD, MD, Karen McDonough, MD, and Dr. Brenda Zierler, PhD, RN, FAAN, and additionally supported by faculty and staff from Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Health Sciences Schools, and Seattle Children’s Hospital, the resulting experience combines both clinical practice and team skills in a simulated training environment.

The innovative Team Based Interprofessional Training Simulations (TeamBITS) program allows over 300 students who typically train in specialty specific environments to practice their skills together as they would in a real-world setting. The goal of this training program is to promote high-quality, patient-centered healthcare by training healthcare professionals to communicate more effectively with each other and with patients during challenging clinical situations.  This format of interprofessional education is quickly becoming a model for healthcare professional training across the country. 

Course Details:

AM Sessions – 8:00AM-11:45AM

PM Sessions – 1:00PM – 4:45PM

  • Adult Acute Care Scenarios – Harborview Medical Center: Mon (AM/PM); Tue (AM/PM); Wed (AM/PM); Thur (AM/PM)
  • OB/GYN Acute Care Scenarios – University of Washington Medical Center: Tue (PM ONLY)
  • Pediatric Acute Care Scenarios – University of Washington Medical Center: Wed (AM/PM); Thur (AM/PM)


Megan Sherman

The Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies

University of Washington

Phone (Direct): 206-221-3011

Phone (HMC Main): 206-685-4747

Fax: 206-598-0809