Communication With Text Messages In Nursing Education

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 Use of Text Messages In Nursing Education

Communication With Text Messages In Nursing Education

What Is Text Messaging,Benefits of Text Messages In Nursing Education,Text Messages Benefits For Nursing Students,Outcomes of Text Messages In Nursing Education.

What Is Text Messaging

    Text messaging (aka, texting) is the use of portable networked devices such as mobile phones to share short electronic messages comprised of alphanumeric characters and symbols.

Benefits of Text Messages In Nursing Education

    Text messaging provides a convenient method of short communication that is easily accessible in today's digitally connected world. According to Pew Internet Research (Brenner, 2013), which conducted interviews on 6,010 adults aged 18+ years, 91% of Americans have cell phones, and 88 of these individuals use their cell phones to send or receive text messages. Given the ubiquitous usage of text messaging for social communication, this tool may be employed for more specific purposes in clinical education and health care. 

    Text messaging may be used at various levels in the overall health care setting; it may be used as a supplement to the education of health care professionals, communication among health care professionals in practice, and contact with patients throughout their health care regime.

Text Messages Benefits For Nursing Students

    The literature regarding text messaging highlights a variety of uses for this brief form of communication. Text messaging has been used to enhance instructions in the basic sciences for nursing students. According to Richardson, Littrell, Challman, and Stein (2011), text messaging is used to encourage first year nursing students to preview their anatomy notes for upcoming lectures or to review their notes shortly following lecture Short one sentence questions were texted or e-mailed to the students for prompt further discussion of the basic anatomy content.

    Text messaging has also been used to enhance communication between health care providers. According to Howard, Fox, and Coyer (2014), text messaging aids communication between coordinating academics and off-campus clinical nursing administrators. Descriptive findings from this study indicated that the text messaging efforts improved cohesiveness between these academic units, as well as increased approach-ability and feelings of collaboration between the administrators and professors:

    Text messaging has enhanced communication with patients and improved health outcomes. In such cases, text message reminders resulted in changes in the patient's behavior. Free et al. (2011) implemented a text messaging smoking cessation program (txt2stop) to support patients in their abstinence from a detrimental habit. Short motivational messages encouraged patients to stick to their program ; This approach worked, as patients who received the reminders were biochemically verified to have abstained from smoking at 6 months. 

    In a 2009 systematic review of 25 studies involving cell phone and text-messaging intervention (Krishna, Boren, & Balas, 2009), with a total of 38,060 participants in 12 clinical areas and 13 countries. 19 studies assessed patient outcome care. The number of texts sent to patients varied throughout the studies (1-5 texts/week), yet there were significant improvements regarding patient compliance with medications, stress levels, smoking quit rates, and self-efficacy. In addition, Gurol Urganci, de Jongh, Vodopivec Jamsek, Atun, and Car (2013) reported evidence from seven studies involving 5,841 participants that mobile text-message reminders improved the rate of attendance of health care appointments compared to no reminders. 

    These results were similar to phone call reminders, yet cheaper. Further evidence for text messaging and behavior modification is presented in the article by Park, Howie-Esquivel, Chung, and Dracup (2014) as messaging increased adherence to antiplatelet therapy as evidenced by Medication Event Monitoring Systems (MEMS) and text message response rates. These articles suggest that text messaging may provide a door way to patient care that closely mimics the encouragement individuals receive through social connections. 

    Lua and Neni (2012) showed that patients had favorable opinions toward using short message service (SMS), a text-messaging service component of mobile phones, for epilepsy education, drug-taking reminders, and clinic appointment reminders. A follow up study (Lua & Leni, 2013) showed that patients who received text messages exhibited significantly improved medication adherence and clinical attendance compared to the control group.

Outcomes of Text Messages In Nursing Education

    Current literature supports the use of text messaging to enhance patient outcomes with respect to medication compliance and encouragement to be persistent in healthy choices (eg, quit smoking) Weaver, Lindsay, and Gitelman (2012) reinforce that text messaging between the patient and health care provider allows for convenient, direct, and immediate communication, as recipients are more likely to read and respond to the message right away. However, in regard to communication between health care professionals, there is room for improvement. 

    In contrast to Howard et al. (2014), a recent publication (Wu et al., 2014) suggests that text messaging may not be entirely beneficial in the health care realm due to increased tendencies to misinterpret the intended message, since text messages provide short instructions with minimal context. In addition, text messages minimized the face-to-face time needed between health care providers, leading to a sense of depersonalization and negative impact on work relationships. These findings provide incentive for improving the use of text messaging in the education of health care professionals Future efforts to clarify brief messages of notification and inquiries of patient care are warranted. 

    Education may be needed to emphasize components that must always be included in a brief message, for example, in order to provide appropriate context to the topic and to minimize misunderstanding.In regard to nursing education, perhaps training for text message correspondence may begin early when basic science courses are taught and first correlated with clinical outcomes. 

    In addition, text messaging may also be used to promote discussion in early coursework when students may be less confident to ask questions during lecture (Richardson, Littrell, Challman, & Stein, 2011) Short messages may be sent to the instructor to inquire further about the topic being discussed. As text messaging is sure to maintain popularity in the near future. educators may take advantage of this tool to promote discussion instead of depersonalizing correspondences.

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