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Although many hospitals may have policies restricting employee use of personal mobile devices at work, 67% of hospitals report that nurses retain access to personal devices during work hours.1 Mobile devices are a prominent source of distraction in modern culture, and the prospect of a distracted nurse raises concerns for patient safety. To build a caring, competent nurse, nurse educators should discuss the use of mobile devices during work hours with students. Best practices for building professional integrity suggest that faculty introduce ethical discussions in the classroom. Questions for students may include the following: (1) Why do you think hospitals restrict use of mobile devices? (2) How do mobile devices create distraction? (3) Does distraction increase the probability of error? (4) What are the negative outcomes of distraction and hospital errors? (5) Have you ever made a mistake or had a close-call, because of a mobile device? Educators can also design simulation activities to foster student awareness of the distractions created by mobile devices. Simple activities such as requiring the completion of a task, such as medication administration, while fielding stimuli from a smartphone can illustrate the risks associated with personal mobile device use.


From Peggy A. Shaw, MSN/ED, BSN, RN, Assistant Professor and Miriam R. B. Abbott, MA, Assistant Professor, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Columbus, Ohio,




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