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Information Literacy is a crucial portion of the scholarship, practice, and leadership model. Information Literacy that is utilized in a clinical setting by Physicians, Physician Assistants, and Nursing staff help to determine the type of care that is provided to patients. “Information competence is a basis for long-life learning competence and is necessary in any way of learning” (Tursheva, 2009, p. 127). As a scholar, practitioner, and leader, one must possess the knowledge and the ability to access various types of information. At the VA Hospital medical staff must all be knowledgeable of software that allows them to access the numerous amounts of patient data the assists them daily in performing their medical duties.
Access to the internet or taking a trip to the local library is an everyday occurrence in the life of a medical student. Because of their career choice, they are constantly on a quest for new and vital information. We live in an information society. All individuals have the opportunity to enhance their way of thinking and change their lives personally or professionally. “Often information competence is defined as a skill of searching, evaluating, using, and distributing all kinds of information, which is developed during our whole life” (Tursheva, 2009, p. 127). Throughout hospitals in today’s society, there are medical libraries and journals available for medical students to use to broaden their knowledge as it relates to providing the proper treatment for their patients.
Medical students serve as scholars. They continue to look for new and improved ways to enhance their knowledge in the medical field. The information they obtain is crucial for their development. Information literacy must continue throughout their careers. “Information literacy is not remedial, it is foundational” (Badke, 2009, p. 49).
In a clinical setting, medical information changes on a daily basis. Physicians serve as practitioners in the medical community. They provide key information to medical students, residents, as well as nursing staff that help with their growth and development. Simons, Morgan, and Davidson (2012) stated, “in order for physicians to practice medicine successfully and become learners for life, they need to know how to search and manage the medical information they discover within their patient-centered context.” As a practitioner, physicians understand that these skills are necessary in order for their medical students and other medical staff becomes experts in their chosen field.
As a scholar and leader in the area of medicine, it is imperative to understand how to work as a team to provide the best possible care to patients. “Educators are responding to complexities of today’s medical knowledge by developing educational programs based on current learning theories, such as enactivism, where learning takes place within teams that are actively engaged in clinical environments” (Davidson, Morgan, & Simons, 2012, p. 291). This results in more patients that can place their trust in physicians and nurses who know how to work together as a team.
Leaders provide an opportunity for students to grow. Upon entering college medical students are unaware of the importance of information literacy. They fail to understand the purpose that it will serve in their everyday lives. According to Russell (2009), “today’s students don’t have a clear understanding of what it means to obtain scholarly information that is useful” (p. 92).
Staff physicians at the VA Hospital serve as leaders. They are solely responsible for the medical knowledge they provide medical students and residents. Because medical information is constantly changing, as leaders, they have to be prepared to adapt. “This learning must include access to evidence-based medical literature to make informed decisions, thus making information literacy a central activity of the team responsible for the care of patients” (Davidson, Morgan, & Simons, 2012, p. 291). At the VA Hospital medical literature is readily available on all of the computers as well as a plethora of other information sources for the medical residents to make the best decisions regarding patient care.
Information literacy provides the opportunity to access a variety of information utilizing different sources. This information provides needed knowledge to support ideas. Information literacy skills allow the adaptation to changing environments which serves as a support tool for better decision making in everyday life.