USE OF DATA BASES IN THE PREPARATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF LABORATORY PRACTICAL CLASSES IN TOXICOLOGY
The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the Declaration of Bolonia have stated that teaching has to switch from the Lecture model to a more practicum based model, since it has been shown that laboratory practical classes secure the knowledge obtained in lectures.
It is necessary to implement a teaching-learning method that puts the student in the middle of the process, so to achieve interactivity. In the Toxicology laboratory the student has to acquire the capacity to select the information that is needed to solve each case of intoxication. Thus, the student has to be able to select the most appropriate type of biological samples or the adequate type of analysis to apply to each type of intoxication, evaluate the results of the analysis and construct nre knowledge in order to establish a clinical diagnosis.
In order to establish a clinical diagnosis, besides of the symptoms that can be seen in the intoxicated animal or person, it is necessary to make a laboratory analysis using the more adequate techniques for each case in sight of the intoxication causing agent in the different biological samples. The only way to establish a clinical diagnosis is with the addition of the observation of clinical symptoms to the toxicological analysis of the different biological samples. The practical classes in the Toxicology laboratory will strengthen the comprehension of theoretical knowledge.
To acquire this knowledge, before the start of the laboratory practice, the student will have to gather information of the different toxic compounds to analyze, which will facilitate the learning and help get a better comprehension of the analytical methods used. Thus, the student has to search different web sites (toxicology data bases) to gather information on:
- Most frequent cases of intoxication
- Most frequent toxic compound responsible for the intoxication.
- Physic-chemical characteristics of the toxic compound or substances to be analyzed in the laboratory.
- Mechanism of action
- Target tissue or organ.
- Lethal and toxic levels of the substance to analyze
- Toxic screening (acid, basic and neutral toxics). Systematical screening of toxic substances in biological samples.
- Best samples for each toxic compound analysis (metals, pesticides, drugs, etc.)
- Isolation methods of the sample.
- Detection and identification methods (quantitative analysis)
- Quantification methods (analytic technique in function of the physic-chemical characteristics of the agent)
- Interpretation of results.
In light of the results obtained and of all the information gathered, the student has to establish a diagnosis of the intoxication and choose a possible treatment. The use of ICTs can easily develop key aspects of the EHEA, such as transparency and quality in learning, global assessment of student work and finally student autonomy. The use of ICTs by Toxicology students will allow them to acquire a series of necessary knowledge for the practice in the Toxicology laboratory.