Sydney, NS, Canada, June 3, 2008—A nursing research team at Cape Breton University recently had a closer look at stress. Specifically, the team examined whether or not providing nursing students an information-laden handheld PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) would decrease their stress during a clinical rotation.
The team, headed by Professor Barb Jamieson, did in fact demonstrate that nursing students do benefit from having a mobile information system in clinical practice learning.
“One major source of stress for nursing students is having various types of information to support critical thinking and decision-making while learning the nursing role,” notes Jamieson. “Nursing students require information about patient conditions, drugs, teaching plans, diagnostics and also the latest research evidence from nursing journals.”
An intervention group of 22 nursing students and their clinical teachers recieved a PDA loaded with a program called, Nursing Central. The software, developed by Unbound Medicine, is a mobile, information management program for nurses containing drug, lab and diagnostics and dictionary resources as well as Medline journal search capability. It provides access to a comprehensive database of 4,600 drugs and more than 56,000 dictionary terms.
The researchers measured the impact of Nursing Central program over three, six-week clinical rotations to see whether the program increased their use of different information sources and lowered their stress. Findings indicated that nursing students experienced less clinical information stress, had more positive attitudes about computers in clinical practice, and accessed computer-based information during clinical practice more frequently with the information-laden PDA.
The students evaluated the Nursing Central mobile information system software very positively and agreed that nursing central improved access to information about drugs, illnesses, signs and symptoms, teaching plans, and the latest research.
Unbound Medicine, Inc. (www.unboundmedicine.com) develops next-generation knowledge management systems for healthcare. The company’s handheld, wireless, and Web-based technology platform and its information architecture services provide healthcare professionals with advanced systems for acquiring, managing, and sharing knowledge.
The research team thanks Unbound Medicine for donating the Nursing Central software for the study and both St. FX University and CBU for financial support.
For more information on Nursing Central and Unbound Medicine visit www.unboundmedicine.com/products/nursing_central.