Title.Educational gaming in the health sciences: systematic review. Aim. This paper is a report of a review to investigate the use of games to support classroom learning in the health sciences. Background. One aim of education in the health sciences is to enable learners to develop professional competence. Students have a range of learning styles and innovative teaching strategies assist in creating a dynamic learning environment. New attitudes towards experiential learning methods have contributed to the expansion of gaming as a strategy. Data sources. A search for studies published between January 1980 and June 2008 was undertaken, using appropriate search terms. The databases searched were: British Education Index, British Nursing Index, The Cochrane Library, CINAHLPlus, Medline, PubMed, ERIC, PsychInfo and Australian Education Index. Methods. All publications and theses identified through the search were assessed for relevance. Sixteen papers reporting empirical studies or reviews that involved comparison of gaming with didactic methods were included. Results. The limited research available indicates that, while both traditional didactic methods and gaming have been successful in increasing student knowledge, neither method is clearly more helpful to students. The use of games generally enhances student enjoyment and may improve long-term retention of information. Conclusion. While the use of games can be viewed as a viable teaching strategy, care should be exercised in the use of specific games that have not been assessed objectively. Further research on the use of gaming is needed to enable educators to gaming techniques appropriately for the benefit of students and, ultimately, patients.
Aims The aim of the literature review was to identify new and emerging out of hospital emergency care roles and to describe their activity and impact. Background Demographic changes, increased demands for health services, altered working practices, and health system economic pressures have led to the development of a disparate set of new health care roles. Data sources MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL databases, and the two search engines Google and Google Scholar were searched for contemporary studies in the identified study area. Review methods All publications identified through the search were assessed for relevance. Those that discussed new roles were included (n = 34) and empirical studies (n = 14) analysed in detail. Results Emergency care and paramedic practitioner roles (ECP & PP) are having an impact on patient care, including an average 25% reduction in the conveyance rate to hospital, improved inter-professional working, immediacy of treatment and referral, and high patient satisfaction. Limited economic data suggests savings of between £31 (USD 55) and £37 (USD 65) per case when ECPs replace standard ambulance responders. Concerns have been expressed about patient safety, recruitment and training levels, regulatory and role implementation issues. Conclusion Further work is required to fully understand the patient safety, clinical practice, professional role and financial implications of these new roles.