Students in the healthcare field have many tools and strategies at their disposal to improve their understanding and retention of the often-complicated subject matter. One exciting and potentially useful educational tool that students can use is mental practice and visualization. This strategy, previously dismissed by experts, has recently seen much more empirical support as a legitimate and effective means of learning.
Mental practice — also known as “visualization,” “mental rehearsal,” or “mental simulation” — is a strategy in which students visualize themselves successfully carrying out an activity or achieving a goal. Recent evidence has shown promising results for mental practice in a wide variety of educational fields and skillsets.
When it comes to healthcare education, mental practice may involve students visualizing themselves succeeding at a particular procedure, operating medical equipment with ease, or even achieving their desired level of success as a healthcare professional. These techniques can improve the performance, health, and well-being of students in the healthcare industry.
Recently, there has been much research on the benefits of visualization in education. According to new and exciting data, the process of mental practice is quite beneficial for acquiring major skills, learning new disciplines, and even achieving a desired degree of success.
For example, recent studies in neuroscience and psychology examined the consistent application of visualization and mental practice techniques among people who were beginners at a certain skill set. These studies found that amateurs who used visualization techniques quickly achieved mental representation levels more equivalent to professionals and experts in that skill after only a few days.
What this tells us is that the act of visualizing yourself performing an activity causes your brain to interpret the task as if you were actually performing it. This, in turn, causes your brain to create a kind of muscle memory, or reflexive ability in that skill as if you were physically performing it over and over again.
Your mental practice can follow several different techniques and strategies to help you succeed in healthcare education. In most cases, you'll first need to find out which techniques work best for you. But, in general, here are a few good strategies for using mental practice when studying healthcare:
Picture yourself succeeding, whether at a specific skill or your long-term goals.
Write your biggest goal on a note card and put it somewhere you'll see throughout your days. This will help to motivate you when you seem to hit a wall.
Make a vision board detailing what you want to get out of your healthcare classes.
Integrate positive thoughts and happy memories in your studies.
When it comes to healthcare education and certification, MedCerts provides the best and most effective resources to set you up for success. Seeking medical certification and training can be challenging, but MedCerts makes it easy — we offer a variety of programs so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and interests. And the instructional design elements of our programs create an immersive, realistic environment for learning which makes visualization even more effective.
If you want to get started on a new and exciting career in healthcare, get in touch with MedCerts to start your education (and mental practice) today.
Julie Campos is the Senior Director of Operations and Student Success at MedCerts. She brings over 14 years of experience in Online Higher Education in both Student Support and Enrollment and started her career at the University of Phoenix, serving most of her tenure as a student-facing leader.
Julie has her Bachelors of Liberal Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso, and her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Her areas of expertise are student support in online higher education environments and working with nontraditional students. At MedCerts, she is focused on creating a pro-active student central support model for MedCerts students to reach their goals and has developed the MedCerts Student Support and Outreach Model, created MedCerts Student Success Advisor reports and Dashboards, as well as the Student Success Advisor Playbook. Her proactive approach to student support has been crucial in meeting MedCerts’ student’s needs, as well as completion and certification goals.
Julie has three children – a 10-year-old son and 12- and 4-year-old daughters, who keep her and her husband busy with sports. She is also an avid crafter with an entire room of her home dedicated to the hobby. In her free time, she enjoys teaching wreath making and even has a few “how-to” YouTube videos on the subject!