J Forensic Nurs. 2023 Oct 20. doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000451. Online ahead of print.
This study investigates the impact of a professional development training series among a multidisciplinary team (MDT) during establishment of a trauma-informed sexual assault response and prevention program at a midsized university in the southeastern United States. MDT members included forensic nurses, advocates, counselors, law enforcement officers, and relevant faculty and staff. After completion of a baseline survey assessing attitudes toward trauma-informed care and perceptions of the team climate within the MDT, team members engaged in a trauma-informed care (TIC) professional development training series consisting of (a) 4-hour-long didactic lectures with incorporated group discussion and (2) one 2-hour in-situ simulation-based training exercise. MDT members subsequently completed 3-month and long-term follow-up surveys to assess the immediate and enduring impacts of the training series.The TIC training series significantly increased MDT members’ perceptions of participative safety, task orientation, and support for innovation within the group at the 3-month assessment. No long-term differences were found, likely because of a small sample size and low statistical power.Intensive TIC MDT professional development at the beginning of a campus-wide sexual assault prevention and response initiative enhances psychological safety within the group, evidenced by increased perceptions of participative safety and support for innovation, and builds team cohesiveness around a shared set of tasks. Within the present MDT, the professional development training series also appeared to facilitate adoption of a shared set of values for accomplishing the team’s goal of preventing and responding to sexual assault on campus. Recommendations for MDTs with similar goals are discussed.