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Nurse Educ Today. 2006 Apr;26(3):218-27. Epub 2005 Nov 28.

Undergraduate nursing students' acquisition and retention of CPR knowledge and skills.

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  • 1Department of Nursing, Waterford Institute of Technology, Cork Road, Waterford, Republic of Ireland. cmadden@wit.ie

Abstract

The ability to respond quickly and effectively to a cardiac arrest situation rests on nurses being competent in the emergency life-saving procedure of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which Irish nursing students acquire and retain CPR cognitive knowledge and psychomotor skills following CPR training. A quasi-experimental time series design was used. A pre-test, CPR training programme, post-test, and re-test were conducted. CPR knowledge was assessed by a multiple-choice assessment and psychomotor skills were assessed by observing CPR performance on a Resusci-Anne skill-meter manikin. The findings showed an acquisition in nurses' CPR knowledge and psychomotor performance following a 4h CPR training programme. Despite this, at no point in this study, did any nurse pass the CPR skills assessment. A deterioration in both CPR knowledge and skills was found 10 weeks following CPR training. However, students' knowledge and skills were improved over their pre-training scores, which clearly indicated a positive retention in CPR cognitive knowledge and psychomotor skills. The study findings present strong evidence to support the critical role of CPR training in ensuring that nursing students progress to competent and confident responders in the event of a cardiac related emergency.

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