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          Although role-playing is an effective strategy, care must   or formal teaching sessions for communication.
          be taken because it relies on students for an enriching   Students compare the skills taught in a formal training
          experience, which can pose problems. Students might   course with those their supervisors use in the clinical
          be embarrassed to act in front of their peers or be overly   setting. The actions of clinical instructors influence
          dramatic, which can hinder the educational intent.  students’ communication styles and the value they
                                                             place on communication development. A coordinated
          Simulations                                        effort between the didactic, theoretical training of
             Simulations can be performed using a variety of   communication, and the application of these skills in
          methods, including the use of devices such as manne-  the clinical settings is needed to close the skills gap.
          quins, trained people acting as patients, virtual reality,
          or other contrived situations that mimic the real world.   Attitude
          Simulations place the student in artificial emergency   A final component of developing communication
          situations where instructors assess their response and   skills is the student’s attitude toward learning these
          coach them in a controlled environment without risking   essential skills. Attitude influences the cognitive,
          the care of a real patient. Virtual reality simulators have   affective, and behavioral aspects toward a stimulus such
          shown promise in improving communication skills    as learning communication.  Understanding the
          and confidence.  The newer virtual reality simulators   student’s attitude toward learning communication skills
          can be combined with mannequins to provide multiple   is important because of the influence attitude has on
          scenarios the student must navigate while the manne-  adopting communication skills in practice. Influencing
          quin’s vital signs and critical levels fluctuate. Artificial   attitudes toward learning a topic can be a challenge.
          intelligence has shown promise in developing communi-  A student’s attitude toward learning communication
          cation skills; it can be used to assess time spent talking,   skills might not be positive because studies have shown
          interruptions, number of pauses, sentence length, use of   that some students feel they are much more proficient
          medical jargon, and turn-taking to indicate interactivity. 27  in communication skills than they are.  Explaining
             Although these results appear promising, the use    the value of developing effective communication skills
          of technology alone cannot replace the value of human   along with activities that show real-life applicability can
          connectedness, which is best found at a clinical site   influence attitude.
          working with patients. A combination of technology
          and mentored clinical practice provides a better method   Conclusion
          for developing interpersonal skills. 27,28            Communication is an essential skill for radiologic
                                                             technologist students to learn. There are a variety of
          Clinical Rotations                                 methods that can be used in education programs to
             Mentored clinical practice is 1 of the main methods   develop these skills. By providing a proper theoretical
          by which health care students learn communication   foundation and working with clinical environments to
          skills.  Students identify and are influenced by role   reduce variabilities in communication, the soft skills
          models coming from the clinical setting.  The effect   gap can be reduced. Recognizing the differences inherent
          these role models have can be positive or negative based   in radiology communication compared with other
          on the feedback students receive.  A limitation of   health care professions is important for developing a
          relying on clinics is the lack of a standardized method   more applicable communication model.
          for assessing communication skills that lends itself to
          the variability among role models. This variability is a
          result of the disconnect between the formal teachings   Chad Hensley, PhD, R.T.(R)(MR), is secretary and
          of communication and the informal teachings, called   treasurer of the Joint Review Committee on Education in
          hidden curriculum.  Although hidden curriculum can   Radiologic Technology board of directors and the radiography
          influence many skills, it might contradict the preclinical   program director for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

          RADIOLOGIC TECHNOLOGY, July/August 2022, Volume 93, Number 6                                    579
          Reprinted with permission from the American Society of Radiologic Technologists for educational purposes. ©2022. All rights reserved.
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