Aim The aim of this paper is to report on the evaluation of an educational innovation designed to enhance pre-registration nursing students’ knowledge and skills in recognising and responding to acutely ill/injured children and young people.
Background It is recognised that nurses are frequently one of the first note and observe the deterioration of a sick child and also may be the first to encounter a cardiac arrest (Nyman and Sihvonen 2000, Madden 2006). Literature indicates that student nurses require further education in the use and application of life support skills using supportive teaching strategies (Niemi-Murola et al. 2007, Gordon and Buckley 2009); students in this cohort endorsed this in that they specifically identified these areas as vital for their future role as qualified nurses. A combination of simulation and problem based approaches has been found to be more effective than lecture based teaching alone (Wayne et al. 2005, Bruce et al. 2009, Szogedi et al. 2010).
Methods Final year pre-registration children’s nursing students (n = 40) on a BSc (Hons) Nursing programme completed an educational package delivered over four sessions. The training package consisted of a key note lecture, critical appraisal of clinical guidelines, seminar discussions of real life clinical scenarios, small group skills demonstrations and simulated teaching/testing using manikins. A five point Likert scale questionnaire, measuring students’ self-perceived level of confidence, was used to evaluate the impact of the learning experience. Students completed a qualitative evaluation questionnaire as part of an end of unit evaluation.
Results Evaluation data revealed improvements in students’ confidence, knowledge and skills. Comparisons of students’ pre and post questionnaire scores revealed a statistically significant positive change in their self-perceived levels of confidence. The programme was positively evaluated as an educational package.
Conclusion This evaluation supports the role of a combination of teaching strategies to enhance knowledge and skills in undergraduate pre-registration nursing students in recognising and responding to acutely ill/injured children and young people.
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