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Learner Acceptance of Using Virtual Patient Encounters to Train Foreign Healthcare Professionals in Swedish

Uno G. H. Fors and Olivier Courteille
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Uno G. H. Fors: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
Olivier Courteille: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments (IJVPLE), 2014, vol. 5, issue 3, 18-32

Abstract: Healthcare professionals need good communication skills to be able to communicate with patients. In such provider-patient communication, the professional needs to be well understood by the patient, but also be able to understand subtle parts of a medical history taking dialogue with worried, sick or mentally affected patients. Virtual Patients (VPs) – learning environments that simulate encounters between a patient and a physician – were used to prepare 26 immigrating professionals in Swedish for healthcare practitioners. The professionals were speaking nine different foreign languages and used two different VP systems to train patient communication. Almost all participants welcomed the use of VPs for training communication in healthcare Swedish and 19 of the 26 users indicated that they considered that VPs should be mandatory to use in future courses. Targeted individual training in provider-patient communication with Virtual Patients seems to be of great educational value and well accepted by immigrating healthcare professionals.

Date: 2014
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