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Strategy Submission

Using Role Play in Community Health


Alisa Gadon



Community Health Instructor



Phillips School of Nursing at Mount Sinai


Competency Categories:

Patient-Centered Care, Teamwork and Collaboration

Learner Level(s):


Learner Setting(s):


Strategy Type:

Case Studies

Learning Objectives:

Demonstrate the ability to foster open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to promote quality patient care Evaluate the student’s ability to perform in a community setting Demonstrate community health critical thinking skills Demonstrate teamwork and collaboration during patient/nurse interactions

Strategy Overview:

Strategy Overview Community Health nursing is an unfamiliar aspect of nursing for most students in the RN- BSN program. Role-playing in community health care presents patient-centered care “real life” scenarios. The interactive aspect of Role-play promotes teamwork and collaboration using critical thinking skills. During the role-play scenario, the instructor has an opportunity to intervene and invite class feedback to further develop the student’s critical thinking skills. The instructor reads the case scenario and presents the providers' order form to the class and asks for two student volunteers to act out each role. The instructor explains to the class that it is an interactive learning experience and there are no right or wrong answers. The “actors” are allowed to ask the class for assistance and vice versa during the role-play scenario. This encourages open communication with peers and enhances the learning process. The instructor places two chairs in the front of the class and hands out available props such as empty medication bottles or costumes to set the stage for the actors. The instructor is then able to further describe the patient and nurse’s roles in more detail by adding information to the basic scenario. The details may include challenges such as bad weather conditions or a recent family crisis. The instructor may need to refocus the “actors” and class discussion to stay on track and for time management. The scenarios should be limited to 15-20 minutes or class time permitting. The props can include empty medication bottles labeled with the medications listed on the provider’s order form and filled with tic tacs. Old robes for the patient and a scrub top for the nurse to wear can be added. Strategy Content The strategy content includes developing patient-centered communication and the students critical thinking skills

Additional Materials:

Props for the "actors" if available i.e. empty medication bottles, costumes.

Evaluation Description:

Evaluation of the Role-playing activity is obtained through the students’ five-minute verbal responses to the question: “What did you like or dislike about this activity”. Role-playing allows for observation of the students' ability to problem solve and demonstrate good customer service during the role play interactions. Videotaping the “actors” and playing back during the debriefing session will evaluate the student’s ability to perform in the community setting. A written evaluation tool could be developed and used to demonstrate specific measurable outcomes. Debriefing session conducted with the class after the role play scenario provided positive student feedback. Students reported that the role play scenario demonstrated “how difficult it can be to assess a patient in the community setting”. The student ‘actors” reported that they gained an understanding of the importance of having knowledge of the patient’s community resources. One student “actor” stated: “I really felt that this patient relied on my knowledge to keep them safe and out of the hospital”. Faculty members can reflect on Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model to debrief for meaningful learning. Kolb’s Experiential Learning model stages of (a) concrete experimentation, concrete experimentation phase explores the feelings and reactions of the participants (b) reflective observation phase, the participants describe and discuss the actual events that took place (c) abstract conceptualization, and (d) active experimentation.
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