Concept of Personal Digital Assistant In Nursing Education

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Personal Digital Assistant In Nursing Education

Concept of Personal  Digital Assistant In Nursing Education

What Is Personal Digital Assistant,Application of digital Assistant In Nursing Education,Benefits of Personal Digital Assistant In Nursing Education,Needs of Students and Personal Digital Assistant.

What Is Personal Digital Assistant

    A personal digital assistant (PDA) is a wireless, mobile, electronic device capable of storing, managing, and exchanging information. PDAs are also referred to as mobile computing tools, handheld devices, handheld computers, and smartphones (Johansson, Petersson, & Nilsson, 2013)

Application of digital Assistant In Nursing Education

    Although the PDA was introduced nearly 20 years ago, its application in nursing education is limited, but it is growing. A PDA enables students or faculty to quickly and conveniently gain access to information while in a clinical or classroom setting; however, no standard for use of these devices has been established in nursing education.Since first introduced, the technological capability of the PDA has evolved and its use within nursing has subsequently increased (Zurmehly, 2010). 

    PDAs are used as a way to include information technology within nursing education programs (Jenkins, Hewitt, & Bakken, 2006; Koeniger-Donohue, 2008; White et al., 2005). Software applications (APPS) that are compatible with PDAs serve as a resource for student nurses, especially in the area of pharmacology. Nurse practitioners and innovative nurse educators are described as early users of PDAs and APPS (George.

     Davidson, Serapiglia, Barla, & Thotakura, 2010). Preceptors who use PDAs may influence student use, and may also influence student PDA competence during clinical education through modeling (Cibulka & Crane-Wider, 2011). The dynamic nature of health care and demand for health related knowledge necessitates access to a large amount of accurate and reliable information which mobile devices, such as PDAs, can provide (Hudson & Buell, 2011; Johansson et al., 2013; Whiteet al , 2005). 

    PDAs are currently being used by nursing students, in both graduate and undergraduate education, to replace printed resources such as drug reference books, laboratory oratory and diagnostic manuals, and textbooks: (Koeniger Donohue, 2008, Kuiper, 2008; Pattillo, Brewer, & Smith, 2007; Williams & Dittmer, 2009). Faculty utilize PDA technology for organization and student data management during student clinical experiences (White et al. 2005).

Benefits of Personal Digital Assistant In Nursing Education

    The overarching theme of the literature describing PDAs and use in nursing education is the student's ability to manage a PDA and retrieve accurate, reliable, and convenient evidence in the clinical setting with the goal to guide clinical decision making and provide safe care. The Institute of Medicine, National League for Nursing, and The American Association of Colleges of Nursing have recommended increased use of technology in nursing education to meet the growing needs of the health care environment (Koeniger-Donohue, 2008).

    The PDA can help facilitate the recommendations (Cibulka & Crane-Wider, 2011). There is limited but growing research describing PDA use in nursing education (George et al. 2010; Koeniger Donohue, 2008, White et al. 2005). Sanchez-Garcia, Lopez Montesinos, and Fernandez-Aleman (2013) reported that PDAs are the most frequently studied wireless device in nursing education, demonstrating both classroom and clinical applications. 

    PDAs have been found to be effective tools in education (Farrell & Rose. 2008; Hudson & Buell. 2011; Johansson et al. 2013: White et al, 2005) by increasing pharmacological knowledge in the clinical setting (Farrell & Rose, 2008) ; supporting clinical reasoning (Kuiper, 2008), and connecting nursing theory to clinical application (Hudson & Buell, 2011).

    PDAs have a perceived clinical usefulness by nursing students (Cibulka & Crane Wider, 2011; Hudson & Buell, 2011; Johansson et al., 2013; Pattillo et al. 2007). Student self-reports indicate 21% daily clinical use (Hudson & Buell, 2011), 98% daily use (George et al, 2010), and more frequent use when faculty and preceptors used PDAs as teaching tools (Cibulka & Crane Wider, 2011)

    There are identified benefits and barriers to PDA use in nursing education. Use in the clinical setting is more common than in the classroom; However, both have been identified by students as being beneficial to learning (Cibulka & Crane-Wider, 2011; George et al., 2010). 

    Benefits include size, portability, and convenience (Cibulka & Crane-Wider, 2011; White et al., 2005); improved efficiency (George et al, 2010, Johansson et al., 2013); and daily software updates (Pattillo et al., 2007). Barriers are technical problems (Cibulka & Crane Wider, 2011; George et al, 2010); inconsistent faculty use (White et al, 2005); and costs (Cibulka & Crane-Wider, 2011, Hudson & Buell, 2011)

Needs of Students and Personal Digital Assistant

    Textbooks and conventional learning methods may not meet the needs of all students; Therefore, educators should become familiar with technology (Williams & Dittmer, 2009). Nursing educators should integrate PDA technology in education (Hudson & Buell, 2011; Johansson et al, 2013, Pattillo et al, 2007). Faculty role modeling is recommended as a method to support student use (Cibulka & Crane-Wider, 2011; Kuiper, 2008).

    Because a majority of the literature pertaining to evaluation of PDA use in education is descriptive, using self-report, and is not generalizable, additional study is needed (Zurmehly, 2010). There is a dearth of literature describing student outcomes and standards for use of PDAs in nursing education; Thus, educators should take scholarship seriously to evaluate the use of PDAs.

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