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US Army Med Dep J. 2014 Jan-Mar:59-64.

The effects of using a human patient simulator compared to a CD-ROM in teaching critical thinking and performance.

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  • 1US Army Graduate Program in Anaesthesia Nursing, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.



Military healthcare personnel, including nurse anesthetists, must have the knowledge and skills to care for the extensive, severe injuries incurred on the battlefield. No studies have compared the 2 teaching strategies of using the human patient simulator (HPS) and a CD-ROM in caring for combat injuries relative to critical thinking and performance using nurse anesthesia participants.


A prospective, pretest-posttest experimental, mixed design (within and between) was used to determine if there were statistically significant differences in HPS and CD-ROM educational strategies relative to caring for patients who have trauma. Two instruments were used: critical thinking, which consisted of multiple-choice questions; and a combat performance instrument that measured ability to care for patients.


A repeated analysis of variance and a least significant difference post-hoc test were used to analyze the data. The HPS group performed better than the CD-ROM and control groups relative to performance (P=.000) but not on critical thinking (P=.239). There was no difference between the CD-ROM and control group (P=.171) on the combat performance instrument.


In this study, the HPS method of instruction was a more effective method of teaching than the CD-ROM approach.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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