Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS): An Interprofessional Simulation

TTUHSC Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE) Experience

Title of the Interprofessional Practice and Education Experience

Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS): An Interprofessional Simulation

Experience Status


Approval Date Range

1/31/2017 - 5/3/2025

Criteria for Registering the IPE Experience

  • Involvement of two or more professions.
  • Opportunities to learn about, from, and with one another.
  • Significant interactivity between participants.
  • Teaching and/or learning about interprofessional practice and education is intentionally integrated into the activity. Interprofessional practice and education constructs are targeted with IPE learning objectives are also discussed, trained, reviewed, and/or assessed as part of the learning activity.

Type of IPE Experience

  • Simulation learning
  • Workshop, interactive demo, or small group activity

IPEC Core Competencies Targeted by this IPE Experience

  • Teams and Teamwork: Apply values and principles of the science of teamwork to adapt one's own role in a variety of team settings.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Use the knowledge of one’s own role and team members’ expertise to address individual and population health outcomes.
  • Values and Ethics: Work with team members to maintain a climate of shared values, ethical conduct, and mutual respect.
  • Communication: Communicate in a responsive, responsible, respectful, and compassionate manner with team members.

Quintuple Aim Strategic Goals Discussed in this IPE Experience

  • Advancing health equity

Detailed Description and Purpose of the IPE Experience

Millions of Americans, many of whom are children, live in poverty every day. Many more have incomes above the poverty line, but their incomes are still low enough to qualify for programs like Food Stamps and Medicaid. The aim of this interprofessional poverty simulation is to build empathy for patients with financial insecurities, as well as to teach students about disparities in health and living conditions within a community. The Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS) originated in Missouri with the Missouri Association for Community Action. The interprofessional poverty simulation includes interprofessional teams of students who are divided into pre-determined families with the goal of making it through a month of working and paying bills while facing the challenges of a low income family. Pre-determined families have various financial scenarios that range from having low-income jobs to living off social security. Student teams have to figure out how to use the money in their scenario to support their simulation families with the provided services within the simulation. Each simulation also includes multiple university and community volunteers who act as service providers such as daycare workers, employment office personnel, pawnshop workers, schoolteachers, and healthcare workers. The simulation is divided into four fifteen minute segments – each representing a week of the month. As the simulation progresses, the students were challenged to collaborate among themselves and work with available institutions and resources to provide food, water, shelter and miscellaneous expenses for a one-month period. Students must also collaborate and work with agencies and organizations including public schools and work environments, utility and mortgage companies, pawn and quick loan agencies, grocery stores, pharmacies, health care facilities, as well as social service agencies. At the end of the simulation, students break into small interprofessional groups led by trained debriefers to discuss their experience of living the life of a low-income family. The CAPS provides realistic situations and creates opportunities for students to experience the stress, emotions, physical and financial distress that people experience every day when engaging with the healthcare system.

Level of IPE Integration

  • 2. Immersion Level: Consists of development learning activities that provide learners with the opportunity to learn about, with, and from other professional learners in an active learning situation where they are applying learning during the activity. The desired outcome for activities offered at the immersion level is that learners will develop critical thinking skills as part of an interprofessional view that incorporates multiple perspectives and acknowledges and encourages diversity in providing quality health and human services.

Attendance or Participation in the IPE Experience

  • Course requirement
  • Portfolio credit
  • Voluntary basis

Frequency of the IPE Experience

  • 01. Annually
  • Spring Semester

Duration and/or Timeline of the IPE Experience

  • 02. 1 to 3 hours
  • 3 hour simulation

Campus and/or Location of the IPE Experience

  • Lubbock
  • Amarillo
  • Abilene
  • Odessa
  • San Antonio

Average Number of Learners Participating in the IPE Experience

  • 02. 51 to 100
  • Each CAPS typically consists of 25 volunteers and 60-80 participants.

Target Audiences

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Audiences

  • Biomedical Sciences, PhD
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences, PhD
  • Biomedical Sciences, MS
  • Biotechnology, MS
  • Graduate Medical Sciences, MS
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences, MS

School of Health Professions Audiences

  • Athletic Training, MAT
  • Audiology, AuD
  • Healthcare Management, BS
  • Medical Laboratory Science, BS
  • Rehabilitation Science, PhD
  • Healthcare Administration, MS
  • Molecular Pathology, MS
  • Physical Therapy, DPT
  • Rehabilitation Science, ScD
  • Physician Assistant Studies, MPAS
  • Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, MS
  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, BS
  • Speech-Language Pathology, MS
  • Medical Laboratory Science (Certificate)
  • Medical Laboratory Science (Second Degree), BS
  • Addiction Counseling, MS
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS
  • Occupational Therapy (Post-Professional), OTD-P
  • Occupational Therapy, OTD
  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (Second Degree), BS

School of Medicine Audiences

  • MS 1
  • MS 2
  • MS 3
  • MS 4
  • Residents

School of Nursing Audiences

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Graduate MSN
  • Post-Master’s/Advanced Practice
  • RN to BSN
  • Second Degree BSN
  • Traditional BSN
  • Veteran BSN

School of Pharmacy Audiences

  • P3
  • P4
  • P1
  • P2
  • SOP Residents

School of Population and Public Health Audiences

  • Public Health, MPH Traditional
  • Public Health, MPH Online
  • Public Health, Certificate


Community resources, clergy, respiratory therapists, hospital nursing staff.

IPE Learning Objectives for the Experience

Values and Ethics

  • VE04. Value diversity, identities, cultures, and differences.
  • VE01. Promote the values and interests of persons and populations in health care delivery, One Health, and population health initiatives.
  • VE02. Advocate for social justice and health equity of persons and populations across the life span.
  • VE03. Uphold the dignity, privacy, identity, and autonomy of persons while maintaining confidentiality in the delivery of team-based care.
  • VE07. Practice trust, empathy, respect, and compassion with persons, caregivers, health professionals, and populations.
  • VE08. Apply high standards of ethical conduct and quality in contributions to team-based care.
  • VE10. Contribute to a just culture that fosters self-fulfillment, collegiality, and civility across the team.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • RR02. Collaborate with others within and outside of the health system to improve health outcomes.
  • RR04. Differentiate each team member’s role, scope of practice, and responsibility in promoting health outcomes.
  • RR05. Practice cultural humility in interprofessional teamwork.


  • C01. Communicate one’s roles and responsibilities clearly.
  • C03. Communicate clearly with authenticity and cultural humility, avoiding discipline-specific terminology.

Teams and Teamwork

  • TT04. Use shared leadership practices to support team effectiveness.
  • TT05. Apply interprofessional conflict management methods, including identifying conflict cause and addressing divergent perspectives.
  • TT10. Discuss organizational structures, policies, practices, resources, access to information, and timing issues that impact the effectiveness of the team.

Type of Learner Assessment Administered

  • Attitudinal and/or perceptions survey
  • Self-reflection with facilitated debrief

Formal Assessment Protocol used, if Applicable

Type of Program Evaluation Administered

  • Activity feedback/evaluation – from faculty, facilitators, and/or preceptors
  • Activity feedback/evaluation – from learners
  • Facilitated debrief with planning committee

Provide Details on the Potential Sustainability of the IPE Experience

  • Dedicated personnel
  • Integrated into program curriculum
  • Met an identified need or gap
  • Engaged community partners
  • The simulation is reality and as educators, we need to focus on our efforts resulting in truly helping our patients/families in need on a long term basis.

Provide Dedicated Funding Sources:

  • Decentralized school or program funding

Roles of Faculty/Staff in the IPE Experience:

  • Facilitators
  • Instructors and/or preceptors
  • Volunteers
  • Planning committee members
  • Faculty are facilitators, instructors, volunteer for community roles, and provide debriefing.

Additional Information About the IPE Experience, if Necessary

I think with poverty simulation or any simulation our goal is to have our students learn and apply the valuable lessons addressed in the simulation. We have to evaluate their experience to ensure this is helping their understanding and their approach in care for a homeless or person in poverty is positive. We would not want the simulation to cause any harm or hurt feelings. Our goal is to continue to share this simulation with the traditional and non-traditional nursing students along with other inter-professional entities. By all of us experiencing this simulation, our joint efforts of collaborating and gaining insightful resources for our patients/clients will hopefully create a more healthier community.

IPE Experience Organizer

  • School of Nursing

Contact Person(s) and Contact Information for the IPE Experience

For questions about this simulation, please contact:
Rebecca Geist, MSN, RN, APHN- BC,
Assistant Professor
Phone: (806) 743-9233

Amarillo Contact: Debbie Casida MSN, RN (
Abilene Contact: Dr. Katheryn Whitcomb (