UoL Library Blog

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Teaching reflection 1 – operating department practice

Posted by knockels on 18 November, 2008

Operating Department Practitioners (ODPs) work with patients before, during and after surgery, and have to acquire a diploma qualification.  The Medical School runs such a course, and the library has had an input since the course started.

I have an afternoon (in practice, 2 hours) to teach database searching skills.    The session has become set like this:  first, they search the internet for recipes to satisfy both of 2 friends (one cannot eat dairy, one cannot eat wheat).  This is an exercise that Sarah W devised and which we used with medical students.   Then we look on the internet for “nil by mouth”, and then we move into Medline and look for peer reviewed journal literature.    The first exercise gets them thinking about choosing search keywords and combining them, and the second gets them thinking about alternative terms (try the “nil by mouth” search and see what you get, remembering who the students are).

I’ve been pleased with this session, and have run it like this for the past three or four times (it runs twice a year, as there are two cohorts a year).   This time I threw in using the voting handsets, and for the past couple of times we have had a “step by step” handout to lead us through Medline.    But this time I did feel that the session was too bitty.  I like the recipe search (it assumes that they do already search the net), and I like the nil by mouth search, as it might show them how to use search engines efficiently.    Medline is certainly a must – they are expected to use journal articles in their assignments and not rely on things found through Google.    I do wonder (as I do for other groups) if PubMed would be better than Medline, but mostly I am thinking that this session is now comprised of too many, too different, parts.    Something – perhaps the step by step handout (we used this with another group, successfully), and perhaps the handsets, might have to go.

One Response to “Teaching reflection 1 – operating department practice”

  1. gazjjohnson said

    I love the recipe idea, makes for a fun and readily understood topic, yet one that is directly of relevance to the students. Glad you get the time to run it like this – not sure quite how I could apply it to my sessions, but I’ll certainly mull the idea over.

    I think the PubMed interface is clunky personally, and it seems to have the habit of combining a new search with old one without asking me too. But that’s just my 2c.

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