Technology has undoubtedly and irreparably changed all aspects of our lives, from personal to professional. Unsurprisingly, it has also extended to many areas of healthcare, with research by the World Economic Forum (WEF) showing that between 2018 and 2022 there is an expected 87 percent adoption of user and entity big data analytics and 67 percent of Internet of Things, among others, in global health and healthcare.
This indicates widespread uptake of technology in the coming years and illustrates the need to incorporate technology in health education to ensure that the future workforce is adequately equipped, as well as to fully harness the power of technology to disrupt and improve the way individuals learn as we move deeper into the digital economy.
The disruptive and transformative power of technology in education is driven primarily by the fact that technology has the ability to make learning more interactive, collaborative and interesting. It also provides much-needed skills like critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving that people need in a rapidly evolving world.
Nursing and health sciences are, of course, not immune to the transformative capabilities of technology in education.The health industry is recognising more and more that it is critical for modern nurses and health practitioners to be highly trained and well-educated critical thinkers able to make complex clinical decisions – and there is an increasing recognition that the most effective way to produce these kinds of practitioners is to utilise technology in their education.
The transformative power of technology in nursing education
The Life College of Learning, which was established by Life Healthcare in 1998, has made technology and innovation its strategic focus for this reason and continuously implements programmes and initiatives that make use of the latest and most advanced technology.
Since 2013, for example, the college has upgraded the simulation rooms and digital education systems at each of its seven learning centres across the country so that innovative teaching and learning methodologies are used to promote student theory practice integration and improved cognitive thinking.As a result, the college now makes use of an advanced electronic learning programme that is conducive to learning and self-study as it is visual and interactive. The programme is a 3D human anatomy and physiology software used for teaching, learning and presenting.
Simulation, which is a vital part of healthcare training because of the ability to create real-world scenarios in a controlled and non-threatening environment, benefits broadly from the use of technology because tech facilitates the simulation of specific characteristics or behaviour of patients or illnesses.This allows students to get much-needed exposure to and practice life-saving skills without adverse consequences. These skills include basic and advanced nursing capabilities, a variety of wound care procedures, and labour, delivery and midwifery skills.
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