The Mini-Module Evolves: An update on our experience using simple, low-cost, web-based instructional modules in healthcare education.

Joseph Ogrodnik, Derek Thacker, Salil Gulati and Juvonda Hodge
Department of General Surgery, University of South Alabama Medical Center

More than ever before, multimedia is becoming ubiquitous in the academic healthcare environment.  The availability of this technology is enabling students, residents, nursing staff, and other healthcare personnel to expand the ways in which they can access educational information.  Our Mini-Module is a self-guided computer module used to teach healthcare workers specific details of a medical procedure.  They are designed to highlight important learning objectives using videos of the actual procedure. 

Last year, we created an educational Mini-Module to instruct healthcare workers how to perform, as well as understand, procedures involved in treating burn patients.  Students were given a pre-test and post-test to determine the Mini-Module’s effectiveness.  Our initial results were positive, showing that the Mini-Module does indeed accomplish its goal of increasing information retention. 

We present our most recent Mini-Module: Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Tube Placement.  This is a feeding-tube placement procedure that is commonly performed for seriously ill patients in need of nutritional support.  Our Mini-Module demonstrates an easy and effective use of multimedia to teach medical procedures in an efficient manner.   A demonstration of our new module will be presented, with our lessons learned along the way, results of our current module testing, future plans, and possible applications outside of medicine.