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'Big sister' aids Southampton nurse students

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Nursing students on the south coast are to receive instant feedback on their practical performance courtesy of a new computer program.

Southampton University’s school of electronics and computer science has developed software, dubbed Big sister', that allows lecturers to record real-time observations while watching their students train during videoed clinical simulations.

Straight afterwards, students can review the video and read the notes to get feedback on how well they have done.

The quality of feedback on performance is important for students, said Mark Weal, a lecturer in electronics at the university who helped develop the software. But he said traditional methods of replaying the whole video or looking at selected highlights during debriefing relied on the teacher having a brilliant memory of what students did well or poorly.

With this software, they can input their thoughts immediately, so debriefing is more focused, he said. Students can also go and watch the video again at home and have a clearer idea of what they did wrong.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This appears an excellend idea, provisionally. Personally I have alot of issues about our access and availability to clinical skills. As a second year student at Christchurch University Canterbury, I am still perturbed and frustrated at the fact that we are still unable to practice venepuncture. meaning when I qualify I will be ill equipped to even practice a fundamental skill as taking blood and presumably draw little confidence from patients of my capabilites. Therefore lets encourage the powers that be, that our need to practice, improve and perfect our clinical skills are essential to pursue the patient centred care we so eagerly wish to deliver.

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