A study carried out by researchers from the University of Algarve demonstrates high efficacy of this tool in the teaching-learning process.
A team of researchers from Algarve Biomedical Center Research Institute (ABC-RI), which includes Ana Marreiros, Alexandra Binnie, André Mestre and Hugo Café, has just launched a scientific paper in the journal BMC Medical Education which reveals the impact of virtual simulators of patients on the learning process of medical and nursing students.
With the covid-19 pandemic as background, the researchers reflect, in this article, on the role of virtual patient simulators (SPV) in the learning process, concluding that students who used this tool reported a significant improvement in curriculum integration and in the process of knowledge acquisition.
Virtual Patient Simulators (VPS) provide a simulated clinical environment in which students can interview and examine a patient, order tests and exams, prioritize interventions, and observe response to therapy, all with minimal risk to themselves and their patients. Unlike other type of simulators, VPS requires limited investment in infrastructure and can be used in low-resource settings.
Developed from November 2019 to July 2020, this study included 617 nursing and medical students from 11 institutions in 8 countries (Portugal, Poland, Morocco, Norway, Honduras, Georgia, Canada and China), revealing a very positive impact.
It should be noted that after the session with the virtual patient simulator in small groups, the students demonstrated significant improvements in 5/6 items related to the individual learning process and 7/7 of the items related to curriculum integration.
This research can thus, in the future, contribute to the adaptation and modernization of the curricula of nursing and medical students, prioritizing the impact of this type of tools on the teaching process carried out in medical and nursing schools.