Pixelated Patient Teaches CNHP Students The Ropes

If you need proof Drexel is dedicated to education infused with technological innovation, look no further than Tina.

Tina isn't a student. In fact, she's not even human. But as the new virtual patient for Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) students, she might as well be.

Created by software developer Shadow Health, Tina is an avatar in their interactive educational system that allows CNHP students to learn and develop the interpersonal skills needed to effectively help patients who aren't pixelated.

"You knock, go into the room, interact and ask questions," says Dr. Leland Rockstraw, Assistant Dean of Simulation, Clinical and Technology Academic Operations. "Based on the questions you ask, she will respond in certain ways."

By clicking certain sections of the screen, students are able to conduct physical checkups as they work their way through 10 educational modules about body systems, each of which is linked to what students are learning in the classroom.

But the coolest thing about Tina is just how interactive she is. Just like a real patient, she changes her responses based on the specific questions students ask.

"The response is instant," said Rockstraw. "It encourages the students to practice skills based on that immediate feedback given by the software. It almost acts as a source of standardization."

There's another bonus for students who get to treat Tina. Rockstraw says that real life standardized patient evaluations only allow students one attempt, but they can repeat scenarios with Tina as many times as they want, which increases the chance they'll learn something new.

Part video-game, part educational tool? We can't think of a better way for students to learn the ropes before entering the real world.

December 12, 2013

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