Creating Safer Graduates and Life-Long Learners through the Use of Technology: Usability and Usefulness of Electronic Books (E-Books) Loaded on Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) during Clinical Nursing Courses

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 8:30 AM

Cecilia "Ceil" M. Flores, MSN, RN
School of Nursing, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX

Learning Objective 1: describe how PDAs use in undergraduate nursing education aids in development of safe practices and habits of life-long learnin

Learning Objective 2: describe student perceptions of usability and usefulness when E-books loaded on PDAs are used in the clinical setting.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to compare undergraduates’ perceptions of clinical usability and usefulness of E-books loaded on a PDA. Technology aptitude and e-learning usage was measured at baseline and 15 months. The availability of accurate and timely nursing and drug information at point-of-care can play a vital role in safe patient management and outcomes. While graduate students have used PDAs, there is little evidence of PDA use among undergraduate BSN students. Methods: A descriptive design was the method used for this evaluation project.  Participants included 94 Junior I nursing students at baseline and 74 respondents post-intervention for a 79% response rate. A 25-item, 7-point Likert and multiple choice investigator developed post questionnaire, assessed usefulness and usability of the e-technology Results: The overall results, at baseline, 82% of the students thought that the handhelds would be useful in accomplishing clinical tasks more effectively, increasing their productivity and performance. Seventy-eight percent (n=73) of the students were in their 20’s (range: 19-58) and most considered e-technology to be easy to use. Of the 71 students who completed follow-up assessments, 97% (n=67) and 92% (n=65) reported the PDAs had given them faster access to pharmacology and IV medication information respectively. At the end of the semester 94% (n=66) found the handhelds were easy to use. All outcomes will be presented. Conclusion: The conclusion and implication for nursing education were PDAs loaded with E-books are a resource for nursing students and supports use of technology at the point-of-care and prepares students for safe practice and the advancing technologies of our changing health care system.