The use of simulated patients as teaching methodology for developing baccalaureate students' abilities to make nursing diagnoses

Garrett, Anne
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in nursing students abilities to make nursing diagnoses according to two teaching strategies. A convenience sample of 34 first-semester junior nursing students was obtained from one University. After random assignment to groups, the subjects in the control group used a written case study and the treatment group subjects interviewed a simulated patient to formulate appropriate nursing diagnoses.

The Diagnostic Ability Rating Schedule was used to measure ability to make nursing diagnoses. Results indicated that both groups improved their post-test scores. However, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) indicated that the simulated patient experience was no more effective than the written case study (F = 0.09, p =.76). Diagnostic Ability Scores did not vary significantly when subjects were grouped by prior education or work experience. An interesting finding was that there was no correlation between ability to recall knowledge and diagnostic reasoning ability.

Nursing, Health education, Curricula, Teaching, College students, Medical diagnosis