Telemedicine simulation in online family nurse practitioner education: Clinical competency and technology integration

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Abstract

Background and purpose:

Assessment of clinical competency in distance education programs presents new challenges and yet is imperative to patient safety and continued success of the profession. Furthermore, employers increasingly expect a skill set in current informational technologies. Clinical competence has been assessed using high stakes, standardized patient simulation in traditional, on-campus educational programs. Telemedicine technology integrated with standardized patient simulations may provide a solution for teaching the essentials of information technology and provide a modality for clinical competency assessment in distance education.

Methods:

Telemedicine was introduced to students via a formative, didactic assignment. This preparation facilitated the use of telemedicine technology integrated with standardized patient simulations to assess clinical competency of online students. In addition, this format required students to apply the fundamentals of informational technologies.

Conclusion:

Combining the modality of telemedicine with high stakes, standardized patient simulation to assess clinical competence is innovative and ensures high standards in distant education while addressing the preparation of students in the use of emerging technologies.

Implications for practice:

Telemedicine integrated with human standardized patient simulation is a promising modality for clinical competency assessment and determination of program progression in distance education. In addition, students become accustomed to the informational technologies encountered in the workplace.

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