Computer Based Simulation in Pediatric Emergency Care
Objectives To give the student a better understanding of emergency paediatrics (or of other medical specialities) by means of computer simulation of clinical cases. To develop a tool for examining students in medical disciplines (e.g., paediatrics) using computer simulation during Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). See Bouhuijs and co-workers (Medical Teacher, 9, 183-191). The Problem Although both theoretical and practical skills are important aspects of medical training, it is rarely possible to train independent decision making, as a more experienced doctor is always formally responsible. Moreover, it is seldom possible to train the management of the severely ill as not only are such patients scarce but naturally they are even more in need of an experienced physician. Nonetheless, all doctors must have certain procedures and treatment alternatives at their fingertips, despite the practical difficulty of training them to manage these situations in practice. One way is by using dolls or volunteers during emergency or accident training programs, though this is a cumbersome procedure. Thus, there is no readily available and simple teaching tool that can be used to provide this kind of training. The Solution The solution is to develop a program package divided into two parts. The Emergency Writer is the first part being developed in which the teacher designs the cases that will be presented to the student. The cases created with this powerful tool are linked together to lessons. They will be constructed in collaboration with other paediatric departments in Sweden. The second part will be the Emergency Paediatrics, which will present the cases to the student. The Emergency Paediatrics is under preparation and the Emergency Writer is completed. The medical students may choose English or Swedish as language for their training. It will be possible to choose a new lesson or to restart an old one. In examination mode the software only gives limited feedback and forces the student to complete a given lesson. The student has access to a log of all events during a lesson and a summary statistics.
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