Digitalization of Healthcare Practice
Changing Media, Evolving Language Games
Keywords:Language games, Pragmatic constructivism, Digitalization, Simulations, Participatory design, Healthcare education, Occupational therapy
The healthcare sector has entered an ecological evolution, a systemic change caused by the introduction of new technology and financial cuts, which is deeply transforming existing practices in relation to skills and values (Nardi & O’Day, 1999). Conducting a participatory design process, aimed at the development of a digital simulation for the education of Occupational Therapy, we found that the ongoing digitalization is changing educational and working practices, challenging the professional identity of therapists and graduate students, but also introducing new professional opportunities. We use a pragmatic constructivist perspective on language games defined as a collaborative construction of our world through action and communication that fulfil our purposes in human practice. Occupational Therapy emerges as a profession in flux as therapists must move from their traditional role as healers to rethink themselves as freelancers or employed in the private sector. We identified four different language games, which articulate how therapists must rethink their professional identity and purposeful practice in relation to emerging working contexts and relationship to the patients.
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