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Quantitative Analysis of Nursing Observation Employing a Portable Eye-Tracker

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DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2016.61006    3,501 Downloads   4,058 Views Citations


Background: Observation is an important skill for making appropriate nursing decisions and engaging in good practice. However, experts’ observation behavior and cognitive processes cannot be easily verbalized or documented in an objective and accurate manner. Quantitative analysis of the observation behavior of nurses with rich clinical experience will yield effective educational data for fostering and improving nursing students’ observation skills. Objectives: To improve nursing assessment education, the differences in the information gathering processes between clinical nurses and nursing students were analyzed by using a portable eye-tracker. Design: An experimental study. Settings: The experiment was performed at a university in Japan. Participants: The participants were 11 clinical nurses with at least 5 years of clinical experience for postoperative patients, and 10 fourth-year nursing students. Methods: In a mock hospital room, wherein we recreated a situation where a patient in postoperative day 1 was confined to a bed, participants wore an eye-tracking camera and engaged in nursing observation to make an early postoperative ambulation assessment of the patient. Participants’ gaze points and gaze fixation durations were extracted from the gaze measurement data and compared. Results: Clinical nurses had shorter observation times and gaze durations than did nursing students, and focused more on the patient chart, intravenous drip, and indwelling drain. Students gazed for longest at the measuring devices for vital signs. Conclusions: We quantitatively analyzed differences in nursing observation according to clinical experience. Although no significant difference was found in gaze points, nursing students had a greater tendency to focus on information that was numerically displayed. Nurses with clinical experience conducted observations by gazing at information that they needed to focus on the most according to the patients’ postoperative course.

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Suetsugu, N. , Ohki, M. and Kaku, T. (2016) Quantitative Analysis of Nursing Observation Employing a Portable Eye-Tracker. Open Journal of Nursing, 6, 53-61. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2016.61006.

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