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Rickey Moggio

IT-6750

Introduction

At an earlier point in my existence, I would have not imagined myself being as far
down my proverbial road of life at this time. As to a professional level, I am a
cardio-vascular interventional technologist. To place that in layman’s terms, we
are the specialists who obtain live imagery of the circulation and function of the
heart through a radiological process. Even though graduating in the top of my
class, the nation’s all ready burdened economy and unemployment status has
greatly interfered with me obtaining gainful employment. Despite the economy,
I’m determined to find value through continual education in my field of interest to
stay abreast of new trends and technologies. For this and various other reasons,
I am currently enrolled as a student in the Current Trends and Issues in
Instructional Technology class at the University of Colorado Denver. This course
is one of the many courses in the Information and Learning Technologies
masters program at the university.

One of the largest reasons for my enrollment is the fact that the traditional
teaching methods used in these imaging technologies or modalities in the
radiological world are becoming somewhat antiquated and out-dated. The
educational process of teaching and learning in field of radiation sciences is still
based on books, paper, and hard copy films. Imaging equipment has gone
through tremendous technological advancements in the past 20 years. Systems
and processes that have not been used within the last decade are still being
taught. At this time, there are only two modalities that utilize eLearning in their
instruction, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
My main ambition and goal upon graduation is to use my knowledge as an adult
educator and the world of available technologies to redesign the learning
process. This design would be more current with today’s available medical
technology, and using current and accessible teaching technologies in which to
present the information.

Futures Forecast ~ Life Five Years from Now

I said I would never do it, and I still can’t believe I moved back to Iowa. But when
you considered the job market at that time, I guess we all have to make
sacrifices. I can’t really say the past five years working in the university hospital’s
radiology department hasn’t been an educating experience. With the
departments’ restructuring, it definitely gave me the advantage of becoming the
departments Radiological Instructional Specialist. It is my position that directs
and educates medical students as well as departmental technologists about
medical procedural practices and policies within the hospital. As technology has
become more main-stream in the health care profession, there has become a
greater need to provide technological support at all levels.

Since the deployment of the PACS system, the time saved and efficiency within
the department and the hospital as a whole has been quite a measurable
improvement.
In medical imaging, PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems) are
computers, commonly servers, dedicated to the storage, retrieval, distribution
and presentation of images (Choplin et al, 1992). Electronic images and reports
are transmitted digitally via PACS thus eliminating the need for myself or other
staff from having to manually file, retrieve or transport film jackets. The medical
images are stored in an independent format. The most common format for image
storage is DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine). DICOM is
a standard for handling, storing, printing, and transmitting information in medical
imaging. The main goal of the DICOM system is to achieve compatibility and
improve workflow efficiency between imaging systems and other information
systems in healthcare environments worldwide (NEMA, 2008).
With the advent of these two systems, mobile learning or m-Learning becomes
one of the fore-front technologies to be engaged not only by medical students,
but the faculty and staff as well. This linkage between systems allows images,
overlays and radiological reports stored in the PACS system to be transferred
wirelessly to PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants). This groundbreaking project
demonstrates how physicians and medical students alike can share images with
colleagues and patients without the need for hard copies or making an un-
necessary trip to the radiological department. With the introduction of the 4G
network three years ago, the hospital’s information systems can now be utilized
through mobile web-browsers allowing simultaneous use of speech and data
services using higher data speed transmission. Images, medical information and
reports can now be obtained using hand-held Blackberry devices and I-phones.

The development of the mobile learning system and its training program in the
hospital took more than a year to set in motion. “A major decision in developing
your mobile strategy is determining which mobile platform you will connect with,
since this will have a tremendous effect on your development and testing
process, timeliness, and cost” (Vanthournout and Koch, 2008). The key question
raised was what the use of mobile learning tools means for learning. In other
words: how could we unleash the power of contextual effects with ubiquitous
technology for learning. This called for a rethinking of education with its classical
educational settings. Dr. Marcus Specht, a professor for Advanced Learning
Technologies of the Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC)
at the Open Universiteit Nederland, claimed that “Mobiles will be a key
technology to provide that learning support” (Open Universiteit Nederland, 2009).
Specht predicted that this technology enhanced world would not be a
constraining factor for introducing learning support, but a real enabler for
instructional designs of the future; and he was right. However it is important that
technological innovation and education paradigms should be developed side by
side. Education providers, innovators of technologies and instructional
methodologists should collaborate to enhance learning with technology (Open
Universiteit Nederland, 2009).

Students can now download course materials regularly and hence there is
capacity to utilize mobile technology that provides electronic log books and
clinical encounter tracking systems. I have highly advocated the integration of m-
learning and e-learning technologies with providing access of smart/PDA phones
to the medical students. While the cost implications of m-learning remain a major
hurdle, this has improved the overall online learning experience as they use it to
track their clinical encounters.

Roughly a year ago, we initiated one of the newest educational tracks in medical
education in the hospital: simulation learning. In the past, medical education has
always traditionally relied on training with real patients in actual hospital settings.
While this hands-on, experiential learning is indispensible, the safety of those
patients has become an increasingly important concern of the medical faculty.
The real risk with patient safety comes from the fact that mistakes do happen and
are an unpredictable part of the learning process. Simulation is a significant
solution to the problem of patient safety.

In medical simulation, computer-controlled equipment progresses medical


comprehension and ensures that students gain knowledge of procedures and
treatment protocols before actually applying them on actual patients. A simulation
environment allows students and providers to learn, practice, and repeat
procedures as often as necessary in order to correct mistakes, fine-tune their
skills, and optimize clinical outcomes. The medical student gains an enhanced
and more effective education with reduced safety risks. In addition to simulation,
students and residents can gain experience with various types of patients and
cases they may not actually encounter during their rotations and shifts. This is
particularly significant for training hoe to manage emergency situations. Patients
with serious and volatile conditions may not get second chances (Patow, 2005).
Since the implementation of the simulation learning programs, our evaluated
results have shown that it’s highly effective in developing skills in procedures that
require extreme eye-hand coordination and agility. The medical student or
resident also benefits from simulation learning by means of learning how to
manage unanticipated medical events and developing teamwork/communication
skills with increased confidence and performance. The major challenge
constantly facing us is the integration of simulated learning into the traditional
medical educational programs and making sure the support of these programs
remains in pace with the advances made in medical simulation technology.

Conclusion

Although the predictions made within the body of this paper may not be far from
becoming a reality in the future, the design, development, and implementation
will be the determining factors as to the advancement of new technologies within
the medical educational forum. As stated earlier, the main hindrance of today’s
medical technologies is locating and securing stable financial resources in which
to maintain current technologies with the advances of tomorrow.

This exercise allowed me to seriously look how I might apply this in my real
career. My experience in the clinical setting has allowed me to observe and learn
as to the various technologies utilized within medical procedural practices. I have
seen the strengths as well as the limitations to learning within these medical
education settings. It will be my challenge to provide and engage that learning
through and beyond those limitations.
REFERENCES

Choplin, Robert H, Boehme II, Johannes M., & Maynard, C. Douglas (1992).
Picture archiving and communication system: An Overview. Radiographics.
Retrieved on October 25, 2009 from
http://radiographics.rsna.org/content/12/1/127.full.pdf+html

Koch, Dana Alan & Vanthournout, Don (September 2008). Training at your
fingertips. American Society for Training & Development. Retrieved on October
27, 2009 from http://www.astd.org/lc/2008/0908_koch.html

National Electrical Manufacturers Association (January, 2008) Digital Imaging


and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) Part 1: Introduction and Overview.
NEMA.org. Retrieved on October 26, 2009 from
ftp://medical.nema.org/medical/dicom/2008/08_01pu.doc

Open Universiteit Nederland (September 2009). Mobile Cell Phones: Key to


Learning of The Future?. Science Daily. Retrieved on October 26, 2009 from
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907142508.htm

Patow MD, Carl A (April 2005). Advancing Medical Education and Patient Safety
through Simulation Learning. Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare. Retrieved on
October 26, 2009 from http://www.psqh.com/marapr05/simulation.html