Media Literacy – Providing education to nurses that work at several different physical locations.

Feb 5/15

Media Literacy – Providing education to nurses that work at several different physical locations.

Recently I was in an educator position in Fraser Health and found myself attempting to provide education to 7 different units at 7 different acute care sites. Most educators are responsible for 1 or 2 units but I had 7. How do you provide education to 7 units that are geographically spread from Abbotsford to White Rock & Langley to Maple Ridge?   The staff on these units also worked either 8 hr. or 12 hour shifts making it difficult to provide face to face education to everyone consistently.

At first I made up a poster board with visuals and took my education on a road show and tried to hit up as many people as I could – I’d get to the units 2 hrs. before shift change and stay for an hour or 2 after the new staff came on…this wasn’t overly successful and was not an efficient use of my time.

I thought about making a video and posting it on YouTube and making it mandatory for all staff to watch but there was the nagging feeling that staff wouldn’t watch it because they are so busy providing patient care and doing all the other tasks required in their jobs.

The education was on a new Clinical Practice Guideline on Falls Prevention and Post Fall Assessment. The best response that I got from staff was when I laid a sheet on the floor of the unit and plunked myself down on it and pretended that I had fallen and had them do a full post fall assessment, use the lift to get me up off the floor (when appropriate) and do the follow up assessments on me. They had the algorithms to use and could talk to each other. The staff had fun and got hands on practice but again it was not an economical use of my time.

That position was only a temporary position & I never did figure out a way to provide the education to all 7 units, especially when there were other educational needs requiring my attention at the same time (prevention of urinary tract infection, wound care, central line care, swallowing assessments to prevent aspiration pneumonia etc..).

I’m still not sure how to motivate staff to watch videos or do online learning. It is rare that when there is an education session for staff that more than 1 or 2 people actually do the pre-reading.

I am hoping that somehow from this course I will learn some new & innovative techniques that could be used.

I found the Faculty Focus list of articles on teaching with technology…

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Can technology teach us to be compassionate?

Feb 2/15

Can technology teach us to be compassionate?

As a nurse, I feel strongly that compassion and empathy at the human suffering that we as health care professionals witness is something that must be addressed at every step of the training & learning process.

As a student nurse, I developed most of my skills while working on the hospital wards. I witnessed the discomfort of someone having a tube put into their stomach through their nose, or who felt the “pinch” of an IV being started and I felt the crunch of ribs being broken while doing CPR on a live person who was in a real cardiac arrest.   I was acutely aware of the discomfort I was causing as well as the ramifications if I wasn’t doing something correctly.

Is this the only way to teach empathy?

Can a nurse trained in a lab or simulations learn the same compassion?

Technology can teach us knowledge, procedures, critical thinking and a whole host of other necessary skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace.

What about technology & compassion? Can a medical professional (nurse) trained in a lab setting develop the same compassion as the person trained through hands on experience with real live people in real time situations?

What do you think of the technique used by the Sheffield Hallam University?

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Copyright in 3D

Jan 30/15

Copyright in 3D

I have heard of 3D printers but have never really explored what they were or what they could do.  The impact of these copiers could be catastrophic and yet wonderful.

I had to start by finding out exactly what 3D printing was – here is an article that includes a video from How Stuff Works that gives a brief explanation – I also read the article and it was amazing.

The thing that confounds me is the ethical side of this technology.  Just because we can do something, should we do it?  Is it right to do something if it causes harm to another person?

How can people who have the incredible skills to create things for us that help us live our lives better make a living when they have their income taken away from them because of this technology.

I have to ask just how available this technology will be to the average person?  Will it be something everyone has, like a computer?

There are many unethical people out there that have no qualms about stealing or hurting, even killing other people but there are many more people that are ethical and would not use this technology to steal from someone else.  I have to believe in the good side of human nature.

As our economies change, as technologies take away the mundane jobs from our younger generations – what will people be willing to do to earn an income, to survive?  Already there are so many young adults that do not have the hope of meaningful, well paying jobs.

As a culture how can we teach our children what is ethical and what is not; how can we tell them it is wrong to do something, even when they are desperate and unable to afford what they think is their right to have?

Deep questions that I don’t have the answers to….

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What if our Technology Systems are Hacked or Crash?

Jan 29/15

What if our Technology Systems are Hacked or Crash?

There has been a lot of press lately about computer hackers, hacking very prestigious & well-guarded computer systems.   These people seem to have no scruples and have no thought for the damage that they cause.  It seems that there are people continually trying to hack into government, banking, business computer systems etc.

Could this be something that could happen in our schools?

Transcripts erased, teaching curriculum lost or altered, what about the students learning through programs?  What if the outcome of programs was altered, whole systems shut down?

It sounds so inhumane to think that someone would do these things, but it’s out there.  So what are we doing to protect ourselves?  I know that there are security systems set up but there’s always someone trying to get ahead of the security program.

I know that technology has so many advantages over some of our older educational processes but it is also a potential portal for someone to cause damage.

I am not a person that sees the cup as half empty; as a matter of fact I do my best to see it as half full.   I look for the good in everything because I believe it’s there.

My son is in grade 8 and he doesn’t know how to write in a cursive script…I’ll be the one to teach him because our schools aren’t.  Is this a skill that will be needed in the future?  Kids are reliant on technology to think critically for them and to solve problems, even to write.

There has to be a balance somehow so that we can still survive in our lives, where ever they are, without such a strong reliance on technology.

Sadly I think I am a dying breed who thinks this (yes I’m older…in my early 50’s and no I didn’t get my first computer until I was in my mid 30s).  As many of the younger generations

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Technology and Social Skills

Jan 25/15

Technology and Social Skills                                                                      

Are young people losing the ability to read?

On the website Human Kinetics there is in excerpt from a book (shown below) I think it relates to this subject.

I find it so sad when I see people sitting in restaurants eating their meals and playing on their phones and not talking to each other.  People are always so proud to state how many followers they have on Tumblr or Facebook but how many of these people can they truly call close or good friends?  It will be interesting to observe the current high school generation and generations to come as they move on in life and move on into the working world and see if they are able to manage social skills when person to person interaction is required in a sensitive manner.  Will they be able to manage conflict when it’s face to face and not over cyberspace?

The book sounds interesting; too bad it’s so expensive.

“With the proliferation of technologies that are able to overcome the obstacles of time and space (e.g., airplanes, cars, the Internet), one would think that these tools would be used to gain an understanding of other cultures, meet people all over the world, maintain and strengthen familial relationships, communicate effectively with others, and help people to become more socially adept. However, some technological advances cause people to be distracted, overly stressed, and increasingly isolated. Many people are involved in an abundant number of relationships through technology, but sometimes the quantity of these associations leaves people feeling qualitatively empty. Obviously, technology has had a profound impact on what it means to be social.”

Human Kinetics. (2015, January).Technology can have positive and negative impact on social interactions. Retrieved from:

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The Effects of Gaming on Learning

Jan 23/15

The Effects of Gaming on Learning

I had never thought of video games as a source of learning my nursing skills.  I trained in a hospital based nursing school 30 years ago when the internet didn’t even exist yet and everything was learned by rote repetition or practice on a patient.   Ouch!

I have spoken to many nursing instructors who now use lab simulations to help the students to treat patients for any number of illnesses or life threatening conditions in a non-threatening and safe environment.    At first I was skeptical but I have come to see the value in this.

Confidence is built without practicing on some poor soul who isn’t feeling very good anyways.

Skill is developed without causing pain on anyone.

Procedures can be mastered by practicing in an enjoyable way without an instructor hanging over your back.

Scenarios can be replayed over & over until the learner understands concepts and has develop the required skills.

I was sitting here thinking that if hospitals developed video games that had the same set up as their emergency rooms staff could play games and learn where supplies are kept – in the ER it is often quick responses that can save a life and running about trying to find something or digging through a ‘crash cart’ for the equipment to manage a code blue situation can waste valuable time.

I am not an ER nurse, I have passed the age of wanting the excitement of life threatening scenarios.  I work in the community as an RN – in my job I am on my own in people’s homes and often when doing assessments I need to have the background knowledge of many chronic disease processes as well as knowledge and assessment skills for more acute situations.  I need to know the resources that are available in the community to help patients manage their care needs.  I need to be able to speak professionally to many other health care professionals and as a Case Manager I often take the lead role in Patient Care Conferences.  I need to be able to determine when someone can no longer be managed at home but needs an admission to acute care (our mandate or goal is to keep people out of acute care and care for them safely at home).

So why am I babbling on & on?  I think it would be great to have a game that would give you a set of symptoms and guide you in determining what is going on.  Is it heart failure, is it dementia or delirium?  Is it fatigue from some acute process or is it anemia & if it is anemia what would the possible causes be?

I would play that game any day!

Maybe games like these actually exist, I’ve never really looked.

So I spent some time on Google today and found this great site – I have to take time to dig deeper and play games that will benefit me in my work in a community setting but it looks promising.

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How Social Media is Changing the Power Balance of What we Read and See on the News.

Jan 22/15

How Social Media is Changing the Power Balance of What we Read and See on the News.

In his TED Talk of How Social Media Can Make History, Clay Shirky made some interesting points but what I got out of it loud and clear was the shift in power that is occurring with social media.  The big corporations, governments, media, newspapers etc. no longer have the power to censure what is heard and said by the general public.

The fact that news can be broadcast instantly, that various opinions can be expressed in real life time, decisions can be challenged and the general public has access to unlimited information (whether accurate or not), makes this power shift or struggle more & more prominent.  I wonder how the powers that be feel about losing their elite power base.

He spoke about the ability for the world’s population to network with each other but he also spoke of the attempts of power houses such as the Chinese government to block this networking.  This is a representation of how the world has been controlled by the elite for so long and how Social media is a threat to their control.

The instant responses after the Chinese and Haiti earthquakes made rescue & cleanup efforts so much more effective.  But social media can spread inaccurate information and there is no way to stop it’s spread and often misinformation can lead to bad choices.

I love that social media is able to reach out to so many people that in the past have had limited access to news, I love the way people can discuss the news amongst themselves and redirect the course that some events ultimately have.

Social media is scary for me because it keeps changing and I feel helpless to keep up but I also love it and wouldn’t want to live without it.

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