Technology and Clinical Decision Making in Nursing: A Good Fit?

Nash, Robyn E., Lemcke, Pam M., & Williams, Helen M. (2003) Technology and Clinical Decision Making in Nursing: A Good Fit? In OLT 2003 Excellence: making the connections, 5th November, 2003, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. (Unpublished)


As in many other practice disciplines, the issue of assisting nursing students to maximise their learning outcomes during the clinical component of their course is a challenging one. This paper outlines a program that has been implemented in the School of Nursing at QUT that uses computer-based technology as a means of complementing and enhancing students’ clinical experience.

The program was developed as part of a larger faculty-based project on Enhancing the quality of teaching and learning through on-line teaching and flexible delivery: resources for units in the Faculty of Health. From a pedagogical point of view it is based on principles derived from a constructivist framework, and is centered around ‘real life’ case scenarios and associated clinical problems. Students are required to problem solve their way through the case that is presented in order to (1) Identify the Priorities and (2) Plan the Care that is relevant to the situation. To do this they have to look for, and reflect critically on a series of resources that can be found by going to the ‘Nurses’ Centre’ and by ‘Visiting the Patient’. General feedback on their decision making at the two key points in the case study is available in the form of ‘Expert Opinion’.

An initial evaluation of the strategy was undertaken with first year undergraduate nursing students in the latter part of 2002. Overall, the feedback from students has been very positive. A consistent theme that was evident in their responses related to their perceptions of being “better prepared‿ for the “prac‿ as a result of working through the program. In addition they made a number of constructive comments that related more to the structure of the program itself and suggestions for improvement in this area.

Findings from this project highlight the pedagogical potential of technology in facilitating clinical learning for undergraduate nursing students. From a student perspective, it is not a replacement for experience in the “real world‿. However it constitutes a potentially powerful tool for complementing and enhancing this experience in a very significant way.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 83
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 11 Jun 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:21

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