ROLE PLAY IN HEALTH CARE
"Ok Deidra, the patient in trauma room 7 needs an x-ray". "Ok Tom, what's the status of the patient"? "Deidra, she is a 27 year old female with potential bilateral fractures to both femurs, a potentially pelvis fracture, non-ambulatory, and non-weight bearing". I remember this scenario so well because it was the first time I had to actually perform outside of textbook knowledge. As I think about my clinical experiences while going through school for my Associates degree in Radiological Technology, I can't help but think about all of my lab practicums. Practicum's, as they were called by my instructors were forms of role play to enhance educational understanding. Practicum's followed chapter lectures, quizzes, and exams to exemplify understanding of learned material as well prove competency in required skills and performance. As I made my way to trauma bed 7 all I could do is think to myself about practicum's I have had and lessons I have learned. Then it hit me. In my last practicum my instructor told me "Deidra if you're ever in a situation where you can't move the patient to get the film you can always move one other thing". "The tube, I exclaimed the tube"! At that very moment I realized just how valuable those practicum's and role playing activities were.
Role-playing exercises teach skills that are often assumed to be learned outside of the classroom which sometimes aren't, and how to use those skills to complement scientific knowledge. These exercises require the students to use imagination, background knowledge appropriate to the character being role-played, and communications skills (Role Play in Education, 2009). The main reason for role play within an educational setting is the ability to develop the student's ability to think outside of what is taught and look for, test, and examine additional outcomes to a presented problem or scenario. The implications of having role play within the educational curriculum can benefit the student in several ways. The first benefit is by participation, the next is by introducing distance learning, and the final benefit would be the enhancement of critical thinking skills (Florida, 2010).
Each student comes to class with whatever required materials are needed to perform to the best of their ability. In addition to pens, pencils, textbooks, notebook paper, etc., each student should also come with an open mind. This open mindedness creates the opportunity for the first benefit which is participation. Participation requires openness as well as willingness on the behalf of the student. Once the student has created openness mentally,...