Thanks to technology and intensive research, the medical field has improved greatly. Diagnosis of patients has become easier and consequently, so has treatment. However, there are a few factors that are influencing medical education. They require that medical students change how they learn and practice their skills to provide the best care they can to the patients. Here are some of these factors:
- The healthcare environment has changed. – For example, doctors need to learn how to serve their patients in different settings like ambulances or at home.
- Societal expectations have changed. – Physicians are expected to uphold the health of the patient above all else.
- The explosion of information in medical science. – As researchers uncover more things about the human body, doctors have to adjust their methods to align with the research.
- The changing roles of doctors. – With specialization, different doctors have to learn the skills pertaining to their specialty.
- Need for long-time learning. – This is because of the explosion of information.
- New teaching styles. – Teachers of medicine have to adjust their methods to fit with current knowledge on how people learn.
Technology In Medical Education
Long gone are the days when the only way to learn was through teacher-focused classrooms. Now, thanks to computer technology, students can listen to podcasts and watch video-recorded classes on their computers. Thanks to computers and the internet, teachers are able to keep up with the latest information in the medical field and incorporate the information required into well-structured classes that are attractive to the students.
Students can also use their computers to write up assignments and access the internet for further information. They can use an essay writing service to write for them tasks or to get research papers written on topics they want to learn about. One key benefit of computer-assisted learning is inverted classrooms. Now, time in class can be spent discussing what they learned on their own, making learning more engaging.
Mobile Device Learning
Many people have access to smartphones, which they can use to help them learn. Some smartphones are advanced enough that they have the same capabilities as computers. Besides that, there is the fact that there are many medical-centered applications on most phones. Students can learn about anatomy, physiology, and medical terms. Some medical apps are provided by universities, but even then, you can typically find them in your mobile device’s app store. Some apps are free, and others are paid.
Today, there are many computer and mobile games that can help medical students to learn. These games can serve several purposes. For example, they can help them advance their medical diagnosis and problem-solving skills. Others help them to increase their reflex time and improve their hand-eye coordination. These games can be made to simulate challenging environments to prepare medical students for real-life situations in the hospital later on.
Simulations are meant to mirror the appearance or character of real things or situations. Medical teachers can simulate many things, for example, clinical tasks and processes, actual patients, anatomical or physiological features and reactions, etc. Here are some of the benefits of simulated learning:
- Simulations allow medical students to practice repetitively, consequently helping them to increase their performance speed and accuracy.
- They allow students to get immediate feedback on what they are doing right or wrong.
- They allow students to experience what they have learned theoretically hence integrating theory with practice.
- They allow for clinical variations, thereby testing out the students’ reactions to different situations.
- They allow the teachers to alter difficulty levels and adjust them as the students improve.
- They allow for individual learning. In class, you learn as a group, but the teacher can gauge how much the students have understood by testing them individually.
- They allow the teacher to define the outcomes and benchmarks of various situations.
- They test patient-centered and process-centered skills.
- They help teachers test processes that require team involvement and management.
One of the most common simulations used is the mannequin doll called Resusci Anne. This doll is used to teach CPR, and students practice by giving it mouth-to-mouth and chest compressions. Some simulations use full-sized dolls with sophisticated controls for medical training. Another way medical schools are using simulations is by using virtual reality. For example, some schools have their students learn using detailed scanned cadavers they can see through Virtual Reality.
Here Are Three Main Benefits Of Medical Students Using Technology To Learn:
- Using technology improves skill coordination, for example, psychomotor skills.
- Simulations allow students to practice critical or rare situations.
- Technology allows for customized learning hence allowing students to practice in different situations.
The perceptions that people have towards medicine have changed. There are high expectations placed on physicians to treat their patients well, to do their best, and to keep up with new information in the field. Technology may help them to learn better, consequently improving their competency levels.