The Use of Virtual Patients to Promote Inter-professional Learning for Medical and Dental Students
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The aim of the project is to develop a shared learning resource for nursing and medical students to promote inter-professional learning.
Background/context to project:
Virtual Patients (VP) are being developed with medical and nursing students to be used as a resource to promote inter-professional learning and patient safety. The main emphasis is on the use of VP to promote good practice in relation to medical ward rounds. The joint document by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Nursing “Ward rounds in Medicine, Principles for best practice” has been used as a guide to develop the themes.(1)
There is no single agreed definition of a ‘medical ward round’. However, it can be described as a complex clinical process during which the clinical care of hospital inpatients is reviewed. This process includes (1): 1. Establishing, refining or changing the clinical diagnoses 2. Reviewing the patient’s progress against the anticipated trajectory on the basis of history, examination, NEWS (national early warning score)2 and other observations, and results of investigations 3. Making decisions about future investigations and options for treatment, including DNAR (do not attempt resuscitation) and any ceilings of care 4. Formulating arrangements for discharge 5. Communicating all of the above with the multidisciplinary team, patient, relatives and carers 6. Active safety checking to mitigate against avoidable harm 7. Training and development of healthcare professionals.
The above areas have been used to develop scenarios of Virtual Patients (VP) in which medical and nursing students conducted simulated ward rounds in the simulated ward in the clinical resource centre in the John Bull Building, Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth.
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