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Methods for Comparing Perioperative Teaching Strategies


The purpose of this study is to define, quantify, and analyze learning outcomes associated with enhanced versus traditional strategies for teaching perioperative nursing. Does an enhanced perioperative teaching strategy make a difference in learning outcomes? A quasi-experimental design, guided by the Perioperative Nursing Data Set (PNDS), included consecutive cohorts (n = 56, each cohort) in an adult nursing course. The primary investigator implemented the enhanced strategy (didactic, clinical lab, and direct supervision for inpatient perioperative clinical rotation). The traditional strategy included didactics with course faculty, no clinical lab, and an inpatient observational day coordinated by the hospital perioperative services educator. Group designation accounted for completing the inpatient rotation before versus after the first exam. The secondary investigator steered the study design, data extraction, and data analyses. Independent variables were strategy and clinical timing. Dependent variables were scores for intraoperative items on Exam 1, the final exam, and the asepsis item from a standardized comprehensive exam; and number of nursing interventions cited in a clinical paper. Results: Means and proportions 100% correct were significantly higher for Exam 1 intraoperative items, but not for the final exam. Students with the enhanced strategy were significantly more likely to correctly respond to the standardized asepsis item. Post hoc power analyses: moderate to strong Cohenís d (for mean differences) and Cohenís w (for proportion differences). Nursing interventions identified in clinical papers were consistent with PNDS criteria. Limitations: Small numbers in some analyses, purposive sampling, and use of existing course exam items and written assignment. Implications: Findings suggest that the enhanced strategy was beneficial for this sample. Data can be extracted from computerized scoring programs, and standardized testing reports to quantify learning outcomes. An enhanced strategy can be utilized in elective nursing courses, and as teaching practica for graduate nursing students. Simulated OR environments can serve as clinical labs.

Primary Author:

Annette Knobloch, DNS, RN, MPH, CNE, CPST
Associate Professor, Our Lady of the Lake College, School of Nursing

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