D'Youville College (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 6444-6452
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the nursing students’ perceptions of Personal Digital Assistant Device (PDA) use in a baccalaureate nursing program in a small private college in Buffalo, NY, USA, during the spring semester of 2009. As nurses enter the next decade, they are expected to be more confident and more competent with ever changing technology in the professional setting. The integration of technology in nursing education has been recommended by the American Association of College of Nurses (1999) stating that students need to acquire hands-on experience with technology across the educational continuum. While handheld technology is used on a daily basis by many physicians and advance practice nurses, several studies have discussed the fact that registered nurses are lagging behind in the technology race and are not taking advantage of the new technology that is available in the clinical setting (Miller et al., 2005). In traditional nursing education settings, students have been required to carry multiple textbooks to off-campus clinical rotations. Portability and storage of textbooks often hinders their accessibility during the provision of patient care, especially in emergencies. With the initiation of handheld devices, students are able to carry “textbooks” in their pocket, offering easily accessible, current, and accurate information. For this study, a grant was obtained through D’Youville College’s Nursing Workforce Diversity program to purchase 22 Tungsten E2 PDA’s. The PDA’s were loaded with Nursing Constellation Plus. The PDA’s were distributed to nursing students in an off campus medical/surgical clinical setting as well as students in an on-campus health assessment setting. In the on-campus clinical setting, students used the PDA to assist with performing assessment skills, identifying normal and abnormal findings, calculating measurements, using appropriate terminology for documentation of findings, and completing case studies. In the off-campus clinical setting, students used PDA’s to assist with researching disease processes, performing assessment and patient care skills, accessing medication information and laboratory/diagnostic test values, and reviewing nursing process guidelines. After obtaining informed consent, the nursing students completed a Likert scale survey to determine their perceptions of the value of PDA use in each setting. Surveys were collected via sealed envelope free from identifying information to ensure respondent anonymity. Research results show overwhelmingly positive responses from nursing students for PDA use in both on-campus and off-campus clinical settings. In addition, exposure to PDA’s at an early level prepares student nurses for handheld technology use in the clinical setting. Future implications for nursing education include continuing to look for innovative ways to enhance nursing students’ learning experiences to improve comfort level with new technology thereby improving and enhancing the quality and safety of patient care.