OPENPediatrics Hemodialysis Simulator IKEC Submission
Around the world, hemodialysis is used for children with both acute and chronic kidney disease. But, medical and nursing trainees often have limited exposure to hemodialysis, and thus are not adequately trained on how to provide it. Recent studies have also shown that the interest in careers in nephrology is declining, perhaps related to the perception that concepts are too complicated and not taught well. Because of these challenges, the American Society of Nephrology created a Task Force aimed at increasing interest in nephrology careers. One key recommendation was to create novel educational tools for nephrology content. So, we brought together a group of app developers, medical educators, and nephrologists from the United States and South Africa, to develop an interactive hemodialysis simulator incorporating principles of adult learning theory. The Kolb Learning Cycle states that although learners have a preferred learning style, they will actually learn best when taken through activities to incorporate all learning styles. Learners move through abstract conceptualization in the knowledge guide, then have activities for active experimentation in the short problem or tactic section, and receive feedback on their actions to allow for reflection, and then go though more cases to provide additional experimentation, completing the cycle over and over.
In the knowledge guide, the learner is taught the key concepts of hemodialysis through text, illustrations, and short animated videos, which train the learner how to set up a dialysis circuit and calculate a dialysis prescription. These concepts and skills are needed to manage the simulated patients in the following section, and the learner can return to the knowledge guide at any point to review concepts. The tactic section builds on the information in the knowledge guide, and is designed to train the learner to utilize a structured approach to set up a circuit and choose an initial prescription for a specific patient’s needs. In the first activity, after reading a patient’s history, the learner is asked to select an appropriate filter, dialysate, prime, and heparin for the patient. Next, feedback is given with the details offered when the learner scrolls over the possible actions. Green checkmarks indicate correct actions, yellow indicates an action that could have been improved, and red indicates incorrect actions. An end-of-activity feedback is also given to outline the key learning points.
In the second activity, the learner is guided through the steps of calculating a prescription. Hints are available to help, and again, action and case feedback is given. We hope that our hemodialysis simulator will provide an interactive and scalable experience for the learner to acquire basic knowledge about hemodialysis, practice their skills in a safe environment, and receive direct feedback on their actions, all while controlling the pace of their learning. We hope you enjoy your experience. Good luck, and have fun! If you like this simulator and want to see more, please visit us at www.openpediatrics.org.
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