What is the digital competence presented by nursing students?

La Universitat Rovira i Virgili de TarragoThe Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona and the TIC Salut Social Foundation have launched a pilot study to find out the digital competences of students enrolled in the Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. The programme, which goes under the name of ‘COMPDIG-GRAU’, is part of the projectCompetències Digitals dels Professionals de Salut (Digital Competences of Healthcare Professionals), otherwise known as COMPDIG_Salut, which is promoted by the Generalitat’s Department of Health and Department of the Vice-Presidency and Digital Policies and Territory, in coordination with the TIC Salut Social Foundation.

The study will assess the digital competences of students who are taking or who have already completed the course ‘Information, communication and documentation technologies’ at the Terres de l’Ebre Campus. Participants will have to take an assessment test based on the ACTIC 2 as well as completing a questionnaire on socio-demographic issues.

“Our aim is to find out the digital competence level of the future healthcare professionals, so that we may later help them improve their knowledge in the digital realm, should this be required”, explained Elisenda Reixach, who is leading the programme at the TIC Salut Social Foundation.

The URV research professors in charge of the project, Gerard Mora and Marta Berenguer, highlighted the “importance” of keeping students up to date in terms of their digital competences, of staying “ahead of the curve” and thus “continuing to improve” the quality of their learning so that they can meet their professional challenges in the field of healthcare.

“We have to be observant and attentive to all that emerges on a daily basis in order to ensure that we remain at the forefront of innovation. We really do have to be ahead of the game”, said Berenguer. The pilot test is already underway and the first results are expected to arrive within a month. “This will help us to understand the current situation of the students and will allow us to make changes in the methodology of the course, thus improving it wherever necessary,” said the researcher and coordinator of ‘Information, communication and documentation technologies’.

Digital competences encompass all the knowledge, skills and attributes that allow for a conscious, safe, creative and critical use of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on both a personal and a professional level. Given the continuous development of ICTs, society is increasingly in favour of a new management and support model that incorporates their use in the provision of health services.

The new collaboration agreement will provide new results for the COMPDIG_Salut programme, which can in turn be compared with the results of the Exploratory Study of the Digital Competences of Health Professionals in Catalonia, in which more than 800 professionals took part.