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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Joyce L. Melius, MSN, RN, CCRN, CS (Southwestern Adventist University)
Description: This is a workbook to supplement Lewis et al.'s Medical-Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems, 5th edition (Mosby, 2000). It contains CD-ROMs with a virtual hospital simulating complex patient care situations encompasing a variety of cultures, diagnoses, and scenarios.
Purpose: The purpose of presenting the material in this format is to simulate actual patient care and the decision making process involved in the care. Presenting the material in the virtual format adds to the reality of the situations. Walking down the hallway into the room and deciding what to do enhances the learning experience. This format is innovative and is the next natural step in development of nursing software. This format is a step in the right direction for new clinical software.
Audience: This is intended for student nurses. The virtual clinical excursions are supplements for nursing textbooks. If nursing students use these workbooks they will gain an excellent understanding of the content and concepts in the textbook. The authors are excellent authorities in the subjects discussed.
Features: The material covered in this workbook and on the CD-ROMs is correlated with the textbook it supplements. The chapters guide the student through a in-depth study of the systems. The student is directed to the virtual patient and patient unit for data gathering, including reviewing the patient chart, assessment and interview of the patient, documentation on the patient record, patient report, medication administration. The virtual hospital is 3-dimensional. The nurse has to report to the supervisor, get a patient assignment and then has to navigate to the patient room and to the nurses' station. The nurse can access the patient chart and look up information and documentation on what was done. Patient physical assessment, vital signs, psychosocial assessment, and other areas of assessement are demonstrated with excellent videos. The highlights of the program are the excellent video presentations of the various components of the patient processes. The 3-D hospital is a refreshing new way to present case studies. The shortcomings of the product are that the program is complex and many students and teachers alike aren't good at simple computer programs and the navigation of the hsopital by a novice computer person would make them quit early and not accomplish anything. The CDs are easy to install, but if you don't have good Internet access it could be difficult to access all the information.
Assessment: I enjoyed navigating the virtual hospital. The software and the workbook are useful tools to supplement the textbook. However, this product may too difficult for the user who isn't virtual literate or doesn't have adequate computer access. The product is innovative and covers a wide variety of clinical situations with simulations of actual patient care. This product is a useful addition to nursing teaching and learning.