Nursing informatics is a specialization within the discipline of nursing that is gaining momentum. This is a specialty that merges nursing science with computer science and information technology that helps to manage and collect data in nursing practice. A project named LISTEN was developed to demonstrate the collaboration between nursing faculty members and health sciences librarian in an innovative nursing informatics course.
Aim of the LISTEN project
Learning Information Seeking and Technology for Evidence-based Nursing practice, or otherwise called LISTEN, is a nursing education, research and retention grant founded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The aim of this project was to improve the scope of information technology and to improve the computer knowledge and skills of nursing students.
The first approach used in the LISTEN project
The participants of this project were 70 students in their first year who had enrolled themselves in an entry level program in a state university health science center. A two credit hour course on Informatics for Healthcare was given to these nursing students over the course of ten weeks. The course was delivered with the use of online instruction methods and on a face to face basis.
Some of the teaching methods that were adopted
Introduction to Information technology concepts were topics of discussion by the faculty. They were also introduced to technology resources like plagiarism, APA writing style, electronic patient records, test-taking strategies, HIPAA and PDAs. Research on clinical topics were conducted with the use of a WebQuest model. Students were encouraged to research clinical topics using wikis. The class sessions were face-to-face and in these sessions many Web 2.0 tools including podcasts and web-accessible videos were used.
Activities that helped in improving information literacy (IL)
Students were asked to research on clinical topics using WebQuest models. They were motivated to use Wikis and check out YouTube videos that would improve their literacy on information technology. They were encouraged to evaluate websites. There were many group discussions and in-class presentation on how the integration of information technology in nursing practices can be helpful.
Changes that were seen in nursing students post the session
An evaluation was done on the attitude, skills and knowledge of students about information technology and by how much the information literacy improved. Students were becoming using computers and their knowledge about computers had broadened. All felt the use of information technology in nursing practices would be very helpful to manage data.
The involvement of a librarian can be helpful in the course
The use of a Likert scale helped in knowing student’s views on the involvement of a librarian in the course. They felt the librarian could be a connecting point of the students with the library. The librarian helped them in presenting in-class topics, which they found very helpful. A librarian also helped in improving their information literacy. The health science librarian can play a vital role in helping students to equip them on how to use library resources and spot quality information for assignments and projects.
Positive outlook regarding the use of information technology in nursing
A graph was made and it showed that the use of information technology in various aspects of nursing can be very helpful. Students felt IT can be used while conducting health research and to analyze the quality of health information. The resources available while researching topics on the Internet were endless and quality information was guaranteed. With the help of IT, students were able to conduct library research.
Project conclusion – this course can improve IT and information literacy
It is imperative to expose students to opportunities in learning IT and areas where they can demonstrate their skills related to IT and information literacy. The health sciences librarian can play a crucial role in assisting students in finding library resources and sufficient information for class assignments.
- Nursing informatics integrates information technology with nursing practices.
- The LISTEN project’s aim was to demonstrate the relevance of IT in nursing.
- LISTEN also aimed at improving the information literacy of nursing students.
- The course was imparted with the help of web based training tools.
- Students got to know the various technology resources like test taking strategies, electronic patient’s records and so on.
- They made use of many web 2.0 tools.
- They also saw many YouTube videos as to understand the relevance of IT.
- Survey showed an improvement in the information literacy.
- The importance of a health science librarian was ascertained.
- There was a positive response regarding the use of IT in the nursing domain.
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