Perils and Pitfalls Using Technology and Collaboration to Demystify the Dreaded Nursing Care Plan
Strunk, Faith A.
Crandall, Stacy M.
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Session presented on Sunday, July 24, 2016: Purpose: The purpose of this nursing education project was to design, implement, and evaluate an innovative teaching strategy to facilitate student learning of the nursing process and critical thinking through the use of technology and collaboration, in the clinical setting. Introduction Historically, students were required to submit 3 independently developed 27+ page clinical paperwork assignments. This paperwork included patient history, review of systems, laboratory values, medications, physical examination, routine nursing documentation, nursing care plan, a patient teaching plan, and references. Students frequently complained that this assignment was both laborious and arduous. Grading of these assignments also required a significant amount of time for the instructors. Traditional teaching methods in nursing education heavily relied on classroom lecture learning. Peer learning combined with traditional teaching methods may be more effective at addressing critical thinking, clinical skills, course satisfaction, and retaining knowledge (2013, Stone, Cooper and Cant). Methods Instructors developed the group project using the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy that included the cognitive process structure and knowledge dimensions, in order to facilitate the acquisition of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and knowledge in the context of patient care (2002, Krathwohl; 2011, Su & Osisek). Students in an adult health clinical nursing course, formed teams of 3-4 members. Each team worked together to develop their initial clinical paperwork, using university approved technology. This technology included social media and document sharing. Results Both students and faculty experienced challenges during design and implementation of the group projects. Some of the challenges included potential HIPAA/patient identifiable information, the requirement for university Information Technology approval, the use of secure document sharing, different technology platforms for students and instructors, and group dynamics. Alternatively, students and faculty also experienced great benefits from this process. These benefits included student peer learning, decreased work load for both students and instructors, increased student satisfaction, improved grades on the assignments, and students learning to work as a team. Conclusions Team care plans improved the quality of the work submitted by the students and increased both student and instructor satisfaction with the assignments. Team based care plans are an effective complimentary strategy for facilitating student learning of the nursing process and critical thinking skills.