What sort of patient? Video and audio
Case-based learning has been used for decades in health professions training, with teachers providing real or specifically produced patient stories and clinical cases as illustrations or triggers through which students learn. Problem and enquiry-based learning typically uses a patient or community health problem or case to stimulate learning, but as learning technologies advance, the use of virtual patients and clinical settings (e.g. hospitals, through programmes such as Second Life™) are becoming more widely used. Virtual patients simulate real life clinical scenarios through which learners emulate the role of the health professional in diagnosing, providing treatment or making clinical decisions.
The ‘patient voice’ can be incorporated into clinical teaching using a range of resources, including video, case scenarios, sound recordings and e-learning resources. Many of these resources are freely available on the internet (such as ‘Patient Voices’, see ‘Further reading and resources’ section) or through creative commons resources, others can be purchased or they can be developed by teachers and learning technologists to suit specific purposes. Examples include interactive computerised tutorials on various topics, such as epileptic seizure classification or breaking bad news. Mobile devices, sometimes incorporating video, are now commonly used as assessment tools for practical skills in simulated environments.
Resources can be included in lectures (for example, videos can be embedded in PowerPoint presentations), seminars or tutorials to provide illustrative material or trigger scenarios about different clinical conditions or situations, such as patient complaints, and can be particularly helpful when it is inappropriate or difficult for learners to work with real patients. For example, the Medical Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has developed an assessment of clinical skills using videos of very ill children.