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Addressing the issue of e-learning and online genetics for health professionals

Authors

  • Karen Gresty phd,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Devon and
      Karen Gresty, Principal Lecturer in Biological Aspects of Health, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK. Email: kgresty@plymouth.ac.uk
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  • Heather Skirton phd,

    1. School of Nursing and Community Studies, Faculty of Health and Social Work, University of Plymouth, Taunton, UK
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  • Andrew Evenden phd

    1. School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Devon and
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Karen Gresty, Principal Lecturer in Biological Aspects of Health, School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK. Email: kgresty@plymouth.ac.uk

Abstract

Abstract  Health-care professionals need an appropriate genetics knowledge base to care for patients and their families. However, studies have indicated that nurses and midwives lack the requisite genetics knowledge to practice effectively and safely, with a paucity of resources to address their educational needs. This paper describes an action research study aimed at developing an online genetics resource for students and practitioners in a range of health professions. A literature review of current health-care genetics education was undertaken. In the first phase of the action cycle, a sample of nurses and midwives were surveyed using a questionnaire to discover their perceived learning needs and the acceptability of an e-learning approach. Using the findings, an online resource for health professionals was developed, by means of a life stage structure to expedite accessibility. The developmental process leading to the construction of clinical case studies in this resource (including theory, ethical, and practical issues) and the evaluation strategy are discussed.

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