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SuperKids Software Review - The Parent's and Teacher's Guide to Childrens' Software
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Emergency Room 3

Legacy Interactive

Ages 13 to 18

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
Kid Appeal
Ease of Use

Emergency Room 3 Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Emergency Room 3 simulates a medical intern's residency experience in a hospital emergency room. The software targets a high-school and early college age audience.

When the program begins, the user takes on the persona of a medical intern. The intern must select a medical case that she wants to treat. Once she has read the case history, the software provides a database in which the intern can research the most useful diagnosis and treatment procedures for the case she has chosen. The intern then checks vital signs and the area of complaint, treats the patient, prescribes appropriate medication, and recommends follow-up care. One word of caution - some of the cases are of a gory nature (e.g. a matador with a bull horn through the eye, a hari-kari suicide attempt).

The intern receives a score for each treatment she attempts. The head of the ward evaluates her performance. If the intern asks a nurse for advice, she loses points. Providing unnecessary care results in point deduction. A low score may cause the ER to lose its residency program. Bonus points are available for providing care rapidly.

Educational Value
Emergency Room 3 provides adolescents with insight into the workings of an emergency room. Not only do users choose appropriate diagnostic tests and treatments, they also have to struggle with cranky colleagues, uneasy patients, and limited amounts of time and money. The software provides extensive information about all sorts of ailments, and a user is compelled to read this information if he wants to successfully treat patients. The evaluation at the close of each medical exam helps the user understand which of his medical choices during treatment was appropriate.

Emergency Room 3 does not include anatomy charts or animated models of the circulatory and nervous systems and cellular processes. The exclusion of these materials is an unfortunate because kids would pay attention to such information if they required it for attending immediately to someone's poor health.

The relationships between doctors, nurses, patients and interns in Emergency Room 3 are combative. None of these groups seems to be working in partnership; most people presented in the program are terse and sarcastic. The software does not train the user to cooperate and ask for help, though both skills are essential in a high-stakes workplace such as the ER. The program encourages interns to judge their success based on whether they receive promotions or contribute to the residency program at the ER. Ideally, the program would encourage interns to estimate their success based on the experience and evaluations of patients and their families.

Kid Appeal
If a child is interested in medicine, he will benefit from experimenting with this program. He can apply information from science courses in a real-life setting while incorporating health care economics, time pressure, office politics and patient emotions into his decisions. As the user learns more about treating emergency cases, he can progress to higher-levels in Emergency Room 3.

A biology teacher may want to use this software for a few periods in her classroom after she teaches units on anatomy and physiology. The software will allow students to apply their newly-acquired knowledge.

Ease of Use / Install
The program takes several minutes to install on a PC with Windows 95/98. The software requires Quicktime 4.0 and includes an icon in the set-up menu through which a user can install Quicktime. Navigation in Emergency Room 3 is not intuitive. A user may struggle at first when he tries to move between screens, complete research, find appropriate diagnostic tools, and rotate menu bars.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Emergency Room 3 is an interesting introduction to the decisions a medical intern must make and the pressures she faces in an emergency room. Students interested in medicine should try out the program. The software is complex and sophisticated - it exposes the user to video clips, an extensive research database, trendy gadgets for storing information, and a thorough performance evaluation. Unfortunately, the program does not cultivate cooperation or strong relationships between patients and doctors, or doctors and staff. Also,Emergency Room 3 misses an opportunity to review basic information about anatomy, physiology, molecular biology, chemistry and genetics within the context of medical emergencies.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other problem solving software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98, 233 MHz Pentium or faster cpu, 32MB RAM, High color/16bit capable 2MB video card & display, 16X or faster CD-ROM, sound card .

Mac: MacOS 7.6 or later, 233MHz PowerPC or faster cpu, 32MB RAM, 16 bit color display, 16X or faster CD-ROM .

Reviewed on:

  • Toshiba laptop with Windows 98
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