Creating Simulations for e-Learning in Healthcare

In the healthcare field, clinical simulations are often used to teach or provide additional training. To increase competency, the simulations focus on the learner’s experience to solve problems, perform skills and make determinations. Studies have shown that simulations can result in increased confidence and better clinical judgment.

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Incorporating virtual interactions into these lessons will enhance the value of the clinical simulation. However, progress in this area requires further research by educators to develop a model which provides an outline of key concepts and a blueprint for devising an internet-based virtual simulation for the healthcare practitioner.

In today’s medicine, new procedures are introduced every day. Medical knowledge doubles every 6-8 years; yet the average doctor practices 30 years and a nurse 40 years. Continuing education in the face ever-changing health-care delivery is challenging.

Educational and training technology present innovative learning tools, including computer simulations and 3D and 2D virtual worlds, which can enhance professional training.

Virtual environments provide a robust, interactive and attractive educational context that reinforces experiential learning. Interaction encourages active participation as opposed to passive learning. When given the freedom to move and engage in self-directed activities, the student incorporates knowledge more effectively.

Achieving success while being in charge of adapting previous knowledge to the new information can be intrinsically motivating.

Virtual environments offer a novel way of presenting new material, forms and methods of visualization, for example, using graphic symbols to manipulate and rearrange information. They can be used to teach the abstract physics and molecular concepts that make up part of the healthcare curriculum. Virtual learning can give students flexible, broader and more in depth experiences than what is available in the standard education program.

When real life experience is considered dangerous or risks injury to the patient, simulation can effectively serve as a proxy. When practitioners are far removed from the training or equipment is too costly, e-Learning in Healthcare is an acceptable alternative. Indeed, the ability to provide training to many individuals helps justify the cost of producing the mobile curriculum.

Well-conceived virtual programs start by asking questions such as who are the learners and what do they need to know. These questions should be posed to the learners, instructors, supervisors, risk managers and those in charge of patient safety. A review of relevant literature should accompany the queries.

Focus should be on building proficiency in five core competencies common to all health care professionals. These include providing patient-centered care, performing as interdisciplinary teams, practicing evidenced-based medicine, quality improvement and employing information technology.

Virtual learning strategies based on simulation are effective methods for enhancing critical core competencies. However, faculty must be adept with technical resources, strategic thinking and planning that is required to create interactive learning scenarios that appeal to the Millennial professional. Please contact us for more information.

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