Using ‘think aloud’ as a strategy for improving clinical reasoning in high fidelity case-based simulation for undergraduate nursing students.

Calleja, Pauline, Nash, Robyn , Tippett, Vivienne C., Harvey, Theresa, Wirihana, Lisa, & Malouf, Naomi (2012) Using ‘think aloud’ as a strategy for improving clinical reasoning in high fidelity case-based simulation for undergraduate nursing students. In Proceedings of NNET2012 International Networking for Healthcare Education Conference ET2012, Jill Rodgers Associates?, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K..


Theme Paper for Curriculum innovation and enhancement theme

AIM: This paper reports on a research project that trialled an educational strategy implemented in an undergraduate nursing curriculum. The project aimed to explore the effectiveness of ‘think aloud’ as a strategy for improving clinical reasoning for students in simulated clinical settings. BACKGROUND: Nurses are required to apply and utilise critical thinking skills to enable clinical reasoning and problem solving in the clinical setting (Lasater, 2007). Nursing students are expected to develop and display clinical reasoning skills in practice, but may struggle articulating reasons behind decisions about patient care. The ‘think aloud’ approach is an innovative learning/teaching method which can create an environment suitable for developing clinical reasoning skills in students (Banning, 2008, Lee and Ryan-Wenger, 1997). This project used the ‘think aloud’ strategy within a simulation context to provide a safe learning environment in which third year students were assisted to uncover cognitive approaches to assist in making effective patient care decisions, and improve their confidence, clinical reasoning and active critical reflection about their practice.
MEHODS: In semester 2 2011 at QUT, third year nursing students undertook high fidelity simulation (some for the first time), commencing in September of 2011. There were two cohorts for strategy implementation (group 1= used think aloud as a strategy within the simulation, group 2= no specific strategy outside of nursing assessment frameworks used by all students) in relation to problem solving patient needs. The think aloud strategy was described to students in their pre-simulation briefing and allowed time for clarification of this strategy. All other aspects of the simulations remained the same, (resources, suggested nursing assessment frameworks, simulation session duration, size of simulation teams, preparatory materials). Ethics approval has been obtained for this project. RESULTS: Results of a qualitative analysis (in progress- will be completed by March 2012) of student and facilitator reports on students’ ability to meet the learning objectives of solving patient problems using clinical reasoning and experience with the ‘think aloud’ method will be presented. A comparison of clinical reasoning learning outcomes between the two groups will determine the effect on clinical reasoning for students responding to patient problems. CONCLUSIONS: In an environment of increasingly constrained clinical placement opportunities, exploration of alternate strategies to improve critical thinking skills and develop clinical reasoning and problem solving for nursing students is imperative in preparing nurses to respond to changing patient needs.

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ID Code: 58345
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Clinical reasoning,, Critical thinking development, Nursing students, Think aloud, Simulation,
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2013 05:06
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2017 14:43

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