Buy this Article for $7.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.

Keywords

Computer-assisted, Nursing, Clinical pharmacology, Education, Evaluation

 

Authors

  1. Gee, Peter R. BPharm (Hons)
  2. Peterson, Gregory M. BPharm, (Hons), PhD, FSHP, AFAIRM
  3. Martin, Jenny L. S. RN, RM, CCN, BAppSc(Nsg), MEd
  4. Reeve, James F. BPharm, GradDipAppComp

Abstract

Recent reports commissioned by the Australian Government have highlighted the need to improve medication use in both community and hospital settings. Nurses are placed ideally to promote safe and effective drug use. The aim of this project was to develop and evaluate a computer-assisted instruction package, to help undergraduate nursing students improve their knowledge of clinical pharmacology, and to enhance their ability to contribute to the quality use of medications. In a collaborative project, staff of the Tasmanian Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing have produced the program PharmaCAL, using HyperCard 2.2 for the Apple Macintosh. A wide range of clinical pharmacology units are covered extensively, concentrating on drugs in common use and base on body systems: cardiovascular pharmacology (including hypertension, cardiac failure and angina); respiratory pharmacology; alimentary tract pharmacology (including peptic ulcer, diarrhea, and constipation); central nervous system pharmacology (analgesia, anxiety and insomnia, depression, psychoses, and epilepsy); antibiotic chemotherapy; and diabetes mellitus. Many color illustrations have been included. Each unit has a set of multiple choice questions to provide feedback to students. The package was evaluated in two ways. First, a questionnaire was used to assess users' opinions of the package. Second, a validated multiple choice test on clinical pharmacology and therapeutics was administered to 24 third-year nursing students before and after a set of sessions using the package and to a control group of 28 nursing students who were not exposed to the PharmaCAL package. The package generally was well received by the nursing students. Clinical pharmacology test scores significantly improved after using the package and were significantly higher than for the control group of students. The program is a useful adjunct to the existing nursing curriculum. It also could be used in postgraduate nursing education and other health sciences.