Document Type (Journals)

Educational Innovations


Healthcare educators are encouraged to provide both skill-based practical exams and interprofessional experiences to prepare students for clinical practice. With skill-based exams come increased student stress and anxiety. This article reports on the development, exploratory outcomes, and lessons learned from an ungraded objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) event involving doctoral-level occupational therapy and bachelor-level nursing students. The primary objective was to allow occupational therapy students to practice for an upcoming graded, comprehensive, skill-based exam. The secondary objective was to examine if the event changed students’ perceived interprofessional skills. The OSCE event included a large group pre-brief, three simulations with mini debriefs following each simulation, and a large group debrief. Students completed pre- and post- tests providing quantitative data to assess perceived attainment of interprofessional competencies. Qualitative data suggested significant value and worthiness of this learning event. Students reported the event improved their interprofessional skills, decreased exam stress and anxiety, and provided them adequate practice for the exam. Overall, the preliminary findings suggested the design of this interprofessional ungraded OSCE event prepared occupational therapy students for comprehensive skill-based exams, thereby decreasing test anxiety and stress levels while facilitating a beneficial interprofessional experience. Details of the OSCE design are shared to assist faculty in preparing future healthcare professionals for positive interprofessional collaborations and comprehensive skill-based curricular assessments.


McKenzie Behrendt, OTD, OTR/L is an instructor in the Occupational Therapy Program in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Kearney, NE.

Stacy Smallfield, DrOT, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA is Associate Program Director, Doctoral Capstone Coordinator, and Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Allied Health Professions, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE.

Jessica Semin, DNP, MPH, RN is an Assistant Professor and Director of Global Health in the College of Nursing, at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE.

Kevin A. Kupzyk, PhD is an assistant professor and statistician in the College of Nursing at University of Nebraska Medical Center. He teaches quantitative methods and provides statistical consulting, including database management, performing analyses and interpreting results, and collaborating in writing and preparing grant proposals.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.