Using Virtual Patients in Online Nursing Education
Abstract: Traditional students often use simulation to practice clinical concepts. In the age of online education, educators must develop a way to engage the student just as they used to in the lab. In the new age of online learning clinical courses can use virtual patients to enhance learning from the privacy of their own home. A virtual patient has been incorporated into an advanced assessment course to provide these essential learning and distinctive evaluative opportunities for students and faculty. Digital Clinical ExperienceTM (DCE) by Shadow HealthTM, is simulation software which uses a virtual patient to incorporate experiential practice, reflection and questioning to facilitate critical thinking and promote comprehension. The virtual patient can replace or amplify real experiences with guided experiences. Patient outcomes are improved due to increased critical thinking skills, improved documentation, improved patient safety and communication, and improved clinical proficiency.