Teachers and staff from the medical technology sector participating in an IPE workshop on scenario design.
Teachers and staff from the medical technology sector participating in an IPE workshop on scenario design.

Update from the Interprofessional Education team


Near the end of each semester, the IPE team typically updates the community on some of the IPE learning opportunities implemented. This time, instead of highlighting each activity, we wanted to turn the focus on one aspect of the IPE project: simulation. Here are the three major steps we completed this semester in an attempt to incorporate more simulation in our teaching and conduct an IPE simulation with multiple disciplines.

Step 1 – Learning from experts

On January 16, nine teachers from the sector along with one pedagogical counsellor attended a one-day workshop at ESPA Montreal (Environments avec simulateurs patients pour d’apprentissage) on scenario writing. The workshop was very practical and quite hands on. We were tasked with designing discipline specific scenarios that students would complete in a simulation format. The exchanges between the teachers throughout the day helped solidify a deeper understanding of the process of writing a scenario. Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Designing a case, designing a scenario, and designing a simulation are all different things.
    • Typically, scenarios are designed to immerse students in less frequent and high stakes situations.
    • It is important to fully understand how to design a scenario within one discipline before attempting to design a multidisciplinary scenario.
    • When designing a scenario for a simulation, the scenario isn’t long (15 minutes) and therefore it has to be designed in a way that the students can complete the simulation within that time frame.
    • The Bambini model for scenario design is a very useful approach and each scenario contains an initial phase, an intermediate phase, and a final phase.
    • Each scenario should include a ‘trigger’ that challenges the students to use their clinical reasoning skills in order to decide on an intervention plan.

Step 2 – Sharing our learnings

On March 14, roughly 20 teachers and staff from the sector participated in an abbreviated version of the ESPA Montreal workshop. Participants were tasked with designing discipline specific scenarios by applying Bambini’s model. In addition, exchanges across disciplines were completed as all participants shared their lessons learned.

Diana Ranallo, Medical Ultrasound Technology teacher, said “I was fortunate enough to participate in the workshop on scenario design that was offered by the IPE team. I found it to be a very meaningful experience. I was able to exchange with teachers from the other medical technology disciplines and learn a great deal about how they incorporate scenarios, simulations, and cases into their teaching. It filled me with ideas of my own that I Iater explored with my own colleagues. It is super beneficial to learn from each other as teachers, brainstorm in groups, and share ideas as it helps us develop a deeper sense of belonging and community across the sector.

Throughout the session, the team was able to brainstorm a slew of new lingo to correspond to different teaching tools and strategies. In addition, we’ve landed on a 6-step guide to writing a scenario.

To access the guide and lexicon, please use the following link.

How to design a scenario.pdf

In addition, the IPE has created a 10-minute video describing in detail the 6 steps.

How to design a scenario.mp4

Step 3 – Write and implement an IPE simulation

Teachers John Battista from Radiation Oncology and Maria Lavoie from Diagnostic Imaging took the first plunge and wrote an Interprofessional Education simulation. Using the How to Design a Scenario guide, they were able to create a simulation that they then implemented on May 8th with their students. Students from their disciplines had to react to a medical emergency during a Computed Tomography (CT) scan. Common to both disciplines, students are taught multiple emergency protocols to follow and depending on the severity of the emergency have to react accordingly. Achieved through a simulation activity, this learning opportunity truly immerses the students in a high-pressure and high-stakes situation that is less frequent in the real world. With the help of the DI lab technicians, Laura Cazzarini and Giovanni Russo, who portrayed the patient and the Physician, the simulation was a success.

John said “I think that Simulation is a great active learning tool whereby students learn using a hands on approach and put their competencies to the test. They are given the freedom to make mistakes, and most importantly, learn from those mistakes. I believe that students are more likely to retain what they’ve learned from a Simulation experience versus the same information being presented to them in a lecture format.”

Kimberly Manhal, a second-year Radiation Oncology student, said, “I really enjoyed working with the Diagnostic Imaging students. It made me nervous (in a good way:) because I was with people I didn’t know. During our simulation we all tested each other’s knowledge.”

Tim Miller, Physiotherapy Technology faculty, said “I think the group (John, Maria, Giovanni, and Laura) should be proud of themselves for trying something new. The process they took to not only create the scenario writing guide but to also use the guide to design and implement IPE scenario is no small feat. The IPE team is confident that these types of innovative practices are happening in our sector daily. Using scenarios and orchestrating a simulation is just one example of how the sector is pioneering forward and incorporating more opportunities for our students to be collaborative practice ready.”

For anyone interested in learning about the simulation tech, please see video link here.

Here are the key success factors when attempting to design and implement a similar learning activity.

    • Lean on your lab technicians for guidance, equipment support, acting roles, and even to complete a dry run of the simulation.
    • Less is more. Don’t try to have the students complete too much in the time frame.
    • Let the students go – Don’t hover, intervene, or get involved with their simulation.
    • Budget for enough time to debrief.

Pictured: Teachers and staff from the medical technology sector participating in an IPE workshop on scenario design

Last Modified: May 31, 2023