The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

TEACHING HEALTH CARE PROFESSION STUDENTS WITH INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL MEDICAL LABORATORIES IN SECOND LIFE.

Ijaz Ahmed1, Eddie Salazar2, Bruce Niebuhr3, Brian Berlin4, Vicki Freeman2, Jon O. Nilsestuen1; 1Respiratory Care, UTMB, Galveston, TX; 2Clinical laboratory Science, UTMB, Galveston, TX; 3Physician assistants, UTMB, Galveston, TX; 4SHP, UTMB, Galveston, TX

BACKGROUND: We used a 3D 0n-line virtual animation platform “Second Life” to develop a simulated blood gas laboratory. This open source technology supports creation of virtual classrooms and real-world simulations that are accessible via the internet. The purpose of this project was to teach students how to assess sample acceptability and to run simulated blood gas evaluation and interpretation. METHODS: The Second life project was devolved in several stages: Stage 1(Design Phase): Define learning objectives /determine learning hierarchy, develop instructional & presentation strategies. Stage 2 (Development Phase): program the virtual simulation and perform prototype/usability testing. Stage 3 (Formative Evaluation): Collect additional data for assessing usability Stage 4 (Implementation Phase): Pilot test design with student users to determine areas that need revision. Stage 5 (Evaluation Phase): Pre and post tests are analyzed to evaluate student learning success; in addition student’s reflections on the project are evaluated. We utilized the 2nd Life platform to teach our students how to correctly receive the sample using personal protective equipment, verify two forms of sample identity, accept or reject the blood sample, perform the blood gas test, and evaluate/interpret the results. For the software evaluation process we divided the class into subgroups of 3 students each. Students took turns performing pre-analysis, analysis, and post analysis. The virtual laboratory utilizes several techniques including: visual simulation, student and instructor live chat stream, an interactive selection menu that incorporates supplies selection and a decision tool, and an email system for student communication with instructors. Post simulation surveys indicated that students liked the teaching platform and found the teaching tool very interesting. CONCLUSIONS: Virtual online training allows students from all healthcare disciplines to practice laboratory blood gas skills to gain efficiency and competency prior to entering the clinical setting. This training tool helps to decrease the amount of training time required by students in the teaching lab and the amount of time spent in the hospital clinical setting. In adding the simulation setting lowers the cost of supplies and personnel time. Sponsored Research - None