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Facilitating Interdisciplinary Competence: Collaboration Between Undergraduate Baccalaureate Nursing Students and Graduate Students Specializing in Communication Disorders


McMillan, Libba
Burns, Embry
Willis, Laura
Grabowsky, Adelia


The fast-paced nature of the healthcare setting, coupled with the number of allied professionals involved, demands accurate and concise written communication. It is imperative that written communication between nursing and allied professionals be clear to ensure that the highest quality of care is provided and that patient safety is maintained. The authors feel the considerations documented by nursing students after reading an interdisciplinary evaluation report have the potential to improve the level of care provided to a patient and the patient’s experience of the care, as well as the student’s knowledge regarding allied healthcare. Students noted that reading the report had the potential to adjust their expectations of the patient’s communication abilities, cognition, or behavior and increase their awareness of the need to modify their own communication skills. If a nursing student understands the possibility of challenges in communicating with patients with communication disorders, this may carryover to future interactions, resulting in better patient care. Understanding patient concerns is critical for nurses, and this data indicates that reading a speech evaluation report provides the nurse with pertinent information. In