Each fall, Del Valle High School Health Science 10th grade students dress in their SimHospital uniforms to engage in simulated patient assessment at the high school’s CTE building. This year, the students still wear the uniforms, but the DVHS students take to the virtual screen to complete the activity just as the real-world has turned to telemedicine.
The SimHospital program offers students a simulated patient visit, complete with mock medical records, and a “SimPatient,” usually a student portraying a predetermined role. Students use the documents and a patient visit to gather information for analyzing. Students then work as a healthcare team to discern lab results, medical history, prescriptions, physical, and admission forms to develop a diagnosis and treatment plan for the “SimPatient.”
In the simulated telemedicine visit, Health Science Instructor Amanda Cortez played the role of patient.
“In this unique time for education, this activity is meaningful because it is engaging while encouraging analytical/critical thinking in a real-world virtual scenario,” said Cortez, “But more importantly, these types of lessons provide students with tangible evidence of academic, professional and personal growth.”
Students asked nutrition and lifestyle questions while evaluating electronic medical records to arrive at a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Students used Google Classroom as a team to confirm the diagnosis with a discussion. As a team, the class determined a specific and individualized therapeutic menu, exercise plan, and lifestyle changes for their SimPatient.