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Computer, Isolation, Nursing



  1. Beam, Elizabeth L. PhD, RN
  2. Gibbs, Shawn G. PhD
  3. Hewlett, Angela L. MD
  4. Iwen, Peter C. PhD
  5. Nuss, Suzanne L. PhD, RN
  6. Smith, Philip W. MD


This secondary analysis from a larger mixed methods study with a sequential explanatory design investigates the clinical challenges for nurses providing patient care, in an airborne and contact isolation room, while using a computer on wheels for medication administration in a simulated setting. Registered nurses, who regularly work in clinical care at the patient bedside, were recruited as study participants in the simulation and debriefing experience. A live volunteer acted as the standardized patient who needed assessment and intravenous pain medication. The simulation was video recorded in a typical hospital room to observe participating nurses conducting patient care in an airborne and contact isolation situation. Participants then reviewed their performance with study personnel in a formal, audio-recorded debriefing. Isolation behaviors were scored by an expert panel, and the debriefing sessions were analyzed. Considerable variation was found in behaviors related to using a computer on wheels while caring for a patient in isolation. Currently, no nursing care guidelines exist on the use of computers on wheels in an airborne and contact isolation room. Specific education is needed on nursing care processes for the proper disinfection of computers on wheels and the reduction of the potential for disease transmission from environmental contamination.