Is there a way to develop some common guidelines that can assist those developing cases to make their cases as effective as possible? And assist educators in selecting the right resource for their needs?
After having the recent experience of developing the five in-depth cases using two "standardized patients" for our new text, Nutrition Care Process and Terminology: A Practical Approach, here are some starting thoughts. Some of these are pretty basic, but it is amazing how they stand the test of time.
- Cases developed to demonstrate the use of the Nutrition Care Process and the Nutrition Care Process Terminology need to reflect the most current terminology.
- Much to our chagrin, the minute we released our text in early October 2015, there was an update to the ENCPT. This caused several months of intense review to update the terms used in our cases and activities and publication of an update to address new terms.
- A clear articulation of the exact skills to be learned in a case is essential. Attention is needed to reflect all aspects of the interaction between the patient and dietitian to maximize the learning from a case study/simulation. To help educators select resources, attention to clear learning objectives are essential.
- Different types of cases needed for different skills
- Starting with a written story that provides all the key elements of the patient's life is entirely appropriate for an objective that deals only with how the dietitian uses data/information to evaluate the situation. But this would not be sufficient to address the skills needed to review a medical record to extract data nor the interviewing skills necessary to elicit the information from the patients or the communication skills needed to verbally summarize nutrition care.
- We decided to supplement the written story with a Virtual Learning Environment with video clips and the opportunity for student so submit videos where they "asked" the patent questions, or recorded their opening comments or summary to the patient, or discussed patient progress with the physician. These types of additional components take a written case a step closer to "real life". Karen Lacey's forward summarized her opinion on this aspect.
- The eNCPT Student Companion Guide created by the Academy also includes a basic patient scenario and may be appropriate for the very first introduction to the process and terminology. However the first printing of the Instructor Solution Manual had some information that needed to be more clearly presented (e.g. regarding what was being shown as "prescription" and "intervention" in the answer keys in the solution manual were co-mingled creating confusion about what the Nutrition Prescription was, what the Nutrition Intervention was, and how to appropriately use the terminology. The examples provided were not consistent with the descriptions on the eNCPT.) This guide also includes sample exam questions that can be used to test content knowledge. It provided a framework for identifying ALL potential nutrition diagnoses based on existence of nutrition assessment signs and symptoms that may be useful as a starting point for less advanced students.
- There are other aspects of nutrition care that can also be incorporated into different types of simulation. For example, a simulation that allows the practitioner to explore whether they should be performing a specific task is also needed. Especially for students who are still learning what is within and what is outside their scope of care. The "cases" provided by the Academy address some common situations e.g. writing PN and EN orders, ordering laboratory tests, making physical activity recommendations, screening for swallowing difficulties. These are available to members and for sale to non members addresses this need. The cases developed by Quality Management from the Academy include the eNCPT as a resource for the cases.
- Cases are also available that demonstrate various ethical situations, e.g. social media and applying the code of ethics to decisions. Whenever appropriate these cases should also integrate the framework of the nutrition care process and terminology.
- Technology continues to evolve at a dizzying pace. Harnessing the latest to effectively provide learning experiences will be key.
- The use of Second Life Avatars to allow the students to more fully "experience" doing a Subjective Global Assessment is certainly a unique way used by Dr Alison Steiber.
- Work completed by Dr Pattie Landers to develop case studies that include the experience of using electronic medical records also provides a different type of simulation experience. While we know that each electronic medical records is quite unique, being able to see and experience the potential features is essential to ensuring a smooth transition from paper cases/medical records into the world of electronic documentation.