Nursing Schools Turned to Computer Simulations During the Pandemic. Are Students Learning?
Speaker 1: 00:00 California was already facing bottlenecks and it's nursing supply pre pandemic. And because of COVID-19 constraints, nursing students have spent the last year with limited access to in-person training and a story that first aired on the California report, Shireen, Kareem, a student at Pierce college in Los Angeles got a firsthand look. Speaker 2: 00:21 You know, one of the things that we've done, even though it really doesn't mimic a urethra is like water bottles. They putting a water bottle into the stuffed animal, like a little opening, things like that, but someone's urethral. Opening is smaller than a water bottle hall. Speaker 3: 00:38 Erin Abila is a nursing student at San Diego state university. She's talking about learning. Honey's a fully catheter and medical procedure where a tube is inserted into patients. [inaudible] to collect a urine, normally a biliary practicing this task on a medical mannequin. But these days, her model is a unicorn Speaker 2: 00:56 Before the pandemic. When I learned fully catheter, I only practice it when I was in-person. I only practice it when I had access to the labs and now I can practice it at any time. You know, why couldn't that be a good thing? Here's why it's not a good thing when there's no one there to correct my habits. And so it becomes a habit forming thing, and it's hard to break habits when you have practiced that so many times. So it's really good to correct them while you're, while you're still learning. Speaker 3: 01:28 Gerard Brogan director of nursing practice at the California nursing association says he's worried. Remote training will compromise the clinical skills of newer nurses. He explains why by sharing an example about a friend who felt a constant need to urinate after he was catheterized during a hospital. Speaker 2: 01:45 So he asked, uh, the nurse coming by, who was a new grad who done simulation. She looked at the computer reader and said, everything's fine. Then he saw an older nurse who was trained, not on the simulation, told her the exact same problem. She looked at the capita pipe for want of a better term. And it was clean Speaker 3: 02:09 Hospitals overwhelmed with patients during the pandemic nursing programs are struggling, provide enough clinical hours to their nursing students. This forced the board of nursing to Laffer relaxed requirements. And now students like Erin, a bla are doing simulation exercises half of the time, instead of a quarter of the time, like usual on top of this, some nursing programs had the pause schooling entirely until they could adapt to the new remote learning says Duran SPEDs of UC San Francisco. This will delay the supply of new nurses at the same time. Some current staff are burning, Speaker 2: 02:41 Losing nurses, close to retirement. A few years early is not great, but we knew that they were going to retire. If we ended up losing a bunch of nurses who were in their thirties, those are nurses who had another 20 or 30 years of working life available for us. Speaker 3: 02:56 Also deeper concerns about remote training beyond just being able to effectively insert a catheter here's drawed Rogan. Again, Speaker 2: 03:04 Common sense would tell you that you cannot simulate emotion nurses. Look after people in the last stages of the life, for example, and you cannot simulate the fear and dread, frankly, we're worried about the attempt to do so. In this assignment, you will care for Tina Jones, a 28 year old woman who has been admitted to shadow general hospital to treat an infected wound on her foot. You will also consider Tina's chronic health conditions, type two diabetes mellitus and allergy induced asthma. Yeah, that's like the background she's giving me my background on my patient. Speaker 3: 03:44 Resume Erin, a bla walks you through one of her stimulation exercises bless and tests, her knowledge and basic vital checks and pharmacology, but a B like can't really communicate with a patient. At one point, a belay says something completely unrelated to the lesson, but patient Tina Jones, silver responds with a mechanical affirmation. Speaker 2: 04:02 So it's to say that Tina Jones, I don't know much about her besides what meds I need to give her the pain she was feeling on her left leg. And I couldn't pry more into her personality. I couldn't pry into her personal life. I couldn't pry into her worries. I couldn't pry even into her pain. For some reason, Speaker 3: 04:22 Areas of hospitals been most restricted from nursing. Students are emergency rooms and ICU because those are the places where it's hardest to manage risk. That means that nursing students are cut off from important specialized in-person training at a time when California needs specialized nurses, more than it has in decades. Speaker 1: 04:40 And that was Shireen. Korem a student at Pierce college in Los Angeles. Reporting her story was produced as part of a collaboration between the California report and Cal matters college journalism network.