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From The CriticsReviewer: Penny Wolfe Moore, RNC, PhD (Southwestern Adventist University)
Description: This is a workbook with a CD-ROM that has a virtual hospital unit for students to navigate. Pages in the workbook are designed to be torn out and submitted for grading.
Purpose: The authors tell students that this is "a virtual hospital setting in which you can work with five complex patient simulations and also learn to access and evaluate the information resources that are essential for high-quality patient care." This sounds like a great idea, but there are some problems with navigation and interaction.
Audience: Student nurses are the primary audience for this product. The authors are credible and the idea is excellent.
Features: Five medical-surgical patients are used to teach content. They are in the virtual hospital where charts, medication profiles, and resource information can be found. There is a supervisor's office, a reading room, patient rooms, and computer screens to click on to get added information. Once inside a patient's room the student can watch a video clip of different nursing procedures such as assessment, vital signs, and communication skills. The student then returns to the desk to document and research with hypertext links to various libraries.
Assessment: I found the CD-ROM difficult to use, so I asked four students to evaluate the product. They said that with a few hours to figure it out, they would be able to learn some things about nursing but it was not the most time efficient method. The students had mixed reports: yes, it was intriguing but it was time-consuming and lacked the interaction they had hoped for. For example, students watch a nurse listen to breath sounds but they do not get to hear the breath sounds themselves. Neither do they get to hear the sounds associated with blood pressure measurement, etc. The product works well and the video quality is good, but there are more efficient ways to teach the information.