1. Fagan, Nancy RN

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Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 350 West Camden St Baltimore, MD 21201-2436 Telephone: 800-326-1685 Fax: 410-528-4422 E-mail: [email protected] Web: Price: $495.00


Expertise in electronic fetal monitoring is a must have for every obstetric nurse, whether in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Foundations of Electronic Fetal Monitoring supports a standard endorsed by Association of Women's Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) for uniform knowledge among these caregivers. Supplementing traditional classes with both hands-on experience and software support allows learners to become proficient in the many aspects involved with fetal monitoring. As titled, this affordable software establishes the "foundation" for learning.


Using eye-catching anatomically and electronically accurate graphics, the 10-lesson program is divided into "chapters" that are organized much like a traditional didactic session. Learning objectives and topical previews are accessed first, setting up the learner for those subjects. By using a PowerPoint format, the learner clicks between slides to continue through each lesson, ending with a summary of the lesson. At the end of the lesson, the learner is able to take a quiz on this knowledge. Incorrect answers are supplemented with rationale compelling the learner to enter the correct answers. Once all chapters and quizzes are done, the user can access the examination. The examination is comprehensive and complete.


The software guide speaks about progressing at individual paces, but for this seasoned nurse and computer user, I found it cumbersome to have to click between slides, especially with no particular prompt when the slide was finished. Another drawback to this program is the inability to skip familiar things and take the individual quizzes.


Scattered throughout were little "cyber trivia" details presented via a small robot that adds some appeal, although these areas are few and far between. Basic interactive exercises were helpful and kept me interested and broke up the dryness of the "lecture" portion. Answering correctly on the chapter quizzes, however, produces an annoying "ding," with a light bulb accompanied by "Ok!" or "You're Right." This "feature" is reminiscent of the beginning reader programs that my children used at young ages and is not appropriate for this level of learning.


The available reports menu offers a selection of 4 reports that include the Learning Objectives of all lessons, Student Status Report, Certificate of Completion, and a Bibliography referencing 22 publications to support the quality of the information provided. In the Student Status Report, the learner's progress in the program is easily viewed. All reports are accessible through a smooth user interface and are printable. This feature is especially helpful to keep documentation of course completion to comply with institutional standards.


Installation procedures are included for several PC setups, including Single Seat Workstation and Server/Client options. This program will run on Windows 95/NT and Novell networks. This review was based on installation and use on Windows 98 platform. Installation was seamless, and the program is easy to access. The instructions do indicate that on some computers it may be necessary to install QuickTime as well.


This is a great supplement to traditional electronic fetal monitoring classes for a new practitioner. Because reports can be printed that indicate test completion, the program provides an easy way to record student compliance. It would be most helpful if the ability to select certain lessons and access the examination without completing all the quizzes were available. This could then be used as a validation tool for all staff.


An option to obtain 3.5 CEUs is available after completing this course. There is a $20 processing charge for this feature for AWHONN members; $40 for nonmembers.


Overall, this program is an excellent adjunct to traditional teaching methods, helping to standardize information in a clear concise manner and allowing learners to set a strong foundation for practice. I recommend Foundations of Electronic Fetal Monitoring to join you on your unit!


Minimum system requirements: Intel 486DX4-100 processor (Pentium recommended); Microsoft Windows 3.1x, Windows 95, or Windows NT 4.0 operating system; 16 MB RAM for Windows 3.1x, 24 MB for Windows 95, or NT 4.0; 256-color VGA monitor; double-speed CD-ROM drive; Windows-compatible mouse and sound care; 40 MB of free hard disk space; and printer for CEU.