Simulated Practice Experience and the pros and cons of Online Healthcare.

Hello!

I hope everyone is doing well!

Due to the pandemic and the latest NMC emergency standards our nursing placement was shortened from the usual 8 weeks to 4 weeks. So for the last 4 weeks I have been carrying out simulated practice.

What did simulated experience involve ?

We were issued into groups of up to 15 people from our tutor group and given tasks to complete in the group. The tasks related to online health care. In the first week of the simulated practice we were asked to observe the virtual community of Robdon via moodle. This was great! The virtual community is made up of fictional families and we were provide with details about the people in each family. The group I was working with chose to answer the questions about a family at the Mobile Home site. 🏡

The aim of the task was to consider the area information we were presented with and write in detail what we knew about Robdon, identify and highlight the health implications of living in that area for example: social, economic, environmental and service provision. Once compiling this into a powerpoint presentation I then submitted the piece of work as the groups coordinator. This electronic learning tool has been produced by the online development team at my University.

In week 2 and 3 we had discussions with our volunteer patients which involved us as a group asking the volunteer patients various questions about communication and online health care. This helped us to form a portfolio of information to create our final presentation based on the following question ” How will the introduction of technology shape the future of healthcare and our abilities to form therapeutic relationships?

There was much discussion about digital/remote healthcare and heres an insight into the conclusion that our group came to after analysing the the discussion we had with our volunteer patient on the subject.

It was fair to stay that there are pros and cons of using technology to deliver health care and we agreed that online health care is here to stay.

Pros of use of technology and healthcare: ●It saves money and time traveling●It is beneficial for seeking health care advice about minor concerns, “online ailments” as my group and I described them as. ●Reduces infection risk because people don’t have to sit in waiting rooms where the risk of infection transmission is high ●Accessible to people who find it challenging to book a face to face appointment normally (working people, parents, farmers etc ●Minimises risk of Covid-19 and protects those who are shielding.

Cons of the use of technology in healthcare and how this might impact the therapeutic relationship: ●Potential Communication barriers- it can be difficult to hear and have a coherent conversations when using technology due to internet disruptions which can create delays in conversations and alter the real time conversation. (We experienced uncontrollable internet disruptions many times in our sessions) ●Impacts building a rapport between the healthcare provider and patient which is against the NMC’s code of conduct to communicate clearly. ●Unable to see body language and communication cues via a screen●Dignity is not always preserved online (NMC 2018) ●Patient may feel they are not heard as well as they would be face to face. ●Don’t get a true reflection of a patient’s symptoms as there isn’t an opportunity to observe a patient as you would face to face e.g take a temperature or blood pressure reading ● These points can have an impact the trust between a patient and healthcare provider. ●Challenging to preserve confidentiality- because many people don’t have a quiet space to speak to a health care provider in private within their family homes during lockdown● Use of technology is not inclusive to all as not everyone has the equipment or skills set to use it.

We also gained the perspective of what our volunteer patient would want to continue and not want to continue after Covid:

Want to continue: Follow ups and some medication reviews should continue on online,  Check ups should continue online. Negative test results should be done online or over the phone.

Not want to continue: Questions, queries, concerns should be carried out in face to face consultation (e.g to observe rash/ lump)- observations that cant be done online.

Share your thought in the comments section or on my social post I would love to hear your views!

*What are your thoughts about online health care?

*What is your experience of online health care over the last year?

Overall this experience has been a really positive one and I have learnt a lot not only about the topic subject but about leadership and group work. I would like to thank all of the lectures involved in the development and coordination of this section of the Fundamental of Nursing Practice module. Given the circumstances that we are facing with this pandemic the adaption of online learning has been a great experience. Thank you! 🙂

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