Who’s Who in the Zoo: Defining Roles and Responsibilities of a Collaborative Health Care Team Abstract


  • Gloria Hinton
  • Shannon Mooney
  • Morgan Porter
  • Abigail Webster


In 2017, 10,748 patients in the acute care setting experienced a sentinel event (The Joint Commission, 2017). As reported by the Joint Commission, 70% of these events could be avoided with a clear understanding and proper communication of the roles and responsibilities of each member of the healthcare team. With clearly defined roles and responsibilities of each team member, nurses can better utilize each member to increase the quality of patient-centered care delivery. To facilitate rich interprofessional communication among students of various health care disciplines (nursing, social work, nutrition, pre-OT/PT, and child life), an Interprofessional Case Study Event was conducted. Participants worked through three phases of care from a case study scenario in which fostering effective communication among the students was vital. We hypothesize that participation in an Interprofessional Case Study Event at the undergraduate level will increase students’ knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the various health care team members. 
Design: A quantitative one-group, pre/post test case study event was conducted with various undergraduate health care students enrolled at Tennessee Technological University. Data were collected using the SPICE-R2 self-report questionnaire. 
Results: Our analysis supports a statistically significant difference in students’ perceptions of the roles and responsibilities for collaborative practice pre/post Interprofessional Case Study Event.
Conclusion: The implications of this study suggests that providing collaborative learning opportunities for students of health disciplines will increase the understanding of roles and responsibilities of each health professional, resulting in more effective interdisciplinary communication that will lead to improved patient care.