Sunday, December 5, 2010

Online Education

So having taken my entire graduate education online, I think it's safe to assume that I love learning this way. Anytime, anywhere, wearing whatever I's pretty great to have this flexibility!

BUT- my opinion has slightly changed (or maybe it's just fried!) after tonight. I just finished taking the online portion of the new PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) certification course. It was 5 1/2 grueling hours of simulation lab after simulation lab.

What was cool, was that as you were performing interventions (doing chest compressions, listening to lungs, ventilating, etc.) you could actually see it on the patient. If my compressions were adequate, the baby's color changed back to pink (from a lovely purple/blue). If the breaths I was giving via facemask were large enough, the baby's chest would rise well. These were the cool features.

What was not cool was if the baby was breathing, then he/she was crying constantly. So not only did you have to take an accurate history and perform a physical exam on this pseudo patient, but they would NOT stop crying!!

I considered giving some morphine to some of the kids just to get them to be quiet. But, of course, that would not allow me to I refrained!!

AND, unlike real scenarios, you could only do one thing at a time (despite there being 2 health care providers in the room!). So if I clicked the button to ask the mother a question and then had the 2nd person put an IV in, the mother wouldn't finish her answer.

Twice I forgot about this, and had the "rude" pseudo mom (how accurate can they get!?) say "I already told you!" Alrightly- guess I'm not getting that answer!!!

And the catch was when you thought you were done caring for the patient, you had to "transfer" them the PICU, to the general floor, to a test (CT/MRI), or stop all care (hello, I just killed my kid and am "calling it").

Once you transferred the patient, you had to tell the system whether or not you treated the patient appropriately. If you clicked "Yes, I want to continue" but did NOT accurately care for the patient, you had to successfully complete that patient scenario TWICE more!!

If you clicked "No, I would like more practice" you would get another chance to try again. But, if you happened to have done it right, you still had to do it again....only once though (assuming you did well the next time!)

Confusing I know!! Either way, it was a LOT of simulations!! And after it was done came the
written portion of the test. Which thankfully was MUCH easier than the pseudo-patients. Tomorrow I go for the live skills portion...just to show them I can not only click a button to give good compressions, but I can actually do them on my own!!! Thankfully, that's only 3 hours!!

I'm planning on enjoying the last few hours of my weekend catching up on my Grey's (which by the way, they would NEVER pass these scenarios!!!) and eating some Chinese!! Mmmm....feel good food + mindless tv = perfect treatment!! I pass!!!

Hope you all had a great weekend!!! If you've done the new online version of PALS, what do you think???

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