COMPUTER LITERACY OF HEALTHCARE STUDENTS FROM MEDICAL UNIVERSITY - PLOVDIV
Healthcare specialists should have a sound level of computer literacy to work with medical information systems, electronic health records, telecare solutions and other modern ICT applications. A successful career in an ICT supported position as in healthcare requires proficiency in using computer technology in performing tasks. The knowledge about the level of computer literacy of our students allows two important decisions to be taken: first - the necessity of restructuring the content of the subject “Informatics” to make up for the gaps from previous education in technologies and second – the evaluation of volume and nature of electronic educational resources to be included in the training.
The aim of the present study is to assess computer literacy of health care students and to investigate the self-assessment of their computer skills.
Materials and methods: The study was conducted in the period April – December 2016 among 279 students from different health care specialties. To receive an objective grade, computer literacy was assessed by a didactic test specially designed for this purpose. The process of creation and validation of the assessment tool is discussed. Students were also asked to self-assess their computer literacy.
Results: The students demonstrated good computer literacy with no statistically significant impact of gender and age. Female students tend to underestimate their computer skills, while men have realistic self-assessment. Students become more critical with age – older students have lower self-assessment compared to their real performance.
Conclusion: The computer literacy of healthcare students is not alarmingly low, it allows them to take full advantage of e-learning. However, the course in informatics should include more activities that would allow them to upgrade their computer skills.
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