Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This presentation is part of : Creating tools and building evidence to evaluate the Outcome-Present State-Test (OPT) Model of clinical reasoning
Use of Technology and its Impact on the Clinical Reasoning of Pre-licensure Nursing Students
RuthAnne Kuiper, RN, PhD, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC, USA

The utility of technology in health care practice and education presents new challenges for faculty due to the impact it has on pedagogy and resources. While there seems to be a plethora of Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) reference materials available for health care providers, and an advanced sophistication surrounding human patient simulation, little is known about the impact of this technology on learning and practice outcomes in nursing students. Practice with simulation and reliance on PDA technology, provides reinforcement of skill practice and instant access to information on medical treatment options so reliance on memory alone. The aims of these projects were to assess the practice outcome of clinical reasoning when PDAs were used as an information resource for clinical experiences and human patient simulations were used as a teaching/learning modality.
Situated cognition during human patient simulation is an instructional approach that exemplifies the constructivist theory of learning and promotes clinical reasoning skill practice to solve patient problems. When the PDA is added as a logical information resource to solve problems in clinical practice or during simulation, technology has had a major contribution to the reinforcement of clinical reasoning in clinical practice.

            The measurement of situated cognition with the OPT model of clinical reasoning during simulation and with PDA use reveals similar outcomes to authentic clinical experiences. This project is an example of cognitive skill measurement which adds to the evidence based practice of nursing education.  There is no one best strategy for promoting clinical reasoning, however, health care is a technology–driven environment and students must be socialized to available resources. Clinical faculty can facilitate learning with technology by modeling activities and presenting available resources to novice practitioners while they are engaged in clinical reasoning.