Nursing Skills

7901391994_dabb922974_zWatching review videos can help to increase nursing students’ confidence and competence in performing nursing skills independently. Some students like to watch videos prior to coming to the class where the skill will be taught, others use them as a guide when practicing after class. There are many free videos available online and students should be aware of potential differences in supplies used as well as policy and procedure followed. If in doubt, students should always check with their instructor to ensure that they are practicing in a manner supported by recent, reliable research. Hawknurse on Youtube offers a series of  videos prepared by a  nursing instructor from Delaware, USA. The University of Manitoba also has a wide range of skills videos with the benefit of a Canadian perspective; Year 1 and Year 2.


Game-based Learning in Nurse Education

tut3_image1Although the current body of research about the effectiveness of game-based learning in nursing education is limited, anecdotal evidence as well as research from other disciplines point to gaming as a positive strategy for learning. As Stokowski (2013) remarked, “Collaboration, communication and clinical reasoning requires practice in many different situations, complex and stressful environments, and fast-paced clinical events. The flexibility, variety, and multitude of outcomes offered by games are uniquely able to provide such practice without any risk to patients (p. 7)”.

Clearly practicing nursing skills and clinical judgement though gaming cannot substitute working with real people in real situations. However, it seems that when used as a compliment to classroom, laboratory, and clinical learning, gaming has the potential to increase knowledge, critical thinking, and behaviour acquisition.

One game that I’ve used with great success is The Blood Typing Game found at This game helps students understand the concept of blood typing and the importance of compatibility in blood transfusions.


Graphic Facilitation

5443118269_0b1e456238_oSeveral years ago my department hired a graphic facilitator for a series of team meetings. I was struck by how her techniques helped to keep everyone on track with brainstorming and teamwork. The constant images were interesting and engaging. Everyone seemed eager to participate and to see what would come up next. Last year I started experimenting with this technique using coloured pens on the large white boards in my classroom. The students loved it! I’m no artist but the images really can be quite simple. Since it is all new to me I roughly sketch in advance what images I will use to go along with the information I am sharing or to organize students’ collaborative work. Once you have seen the amazing graphic facilitation adapted from this talk by Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms you’ll have an idea of how effective the strategy can be.

Check out this link to Learning Graphic Facilitation, it’s a really fun way to teach and to engage your students.  

Who owns the data?


8595765522_384f31b0b7_zWireless medicine is showing amazing potential. As the interviewed physician reports in this piece, he prescribes more apps now than medications. The possibilities for distant assessments, diagnoses, and prescribing is especially salient for Canadians in rural areas without regular access to physicians and/or specialists. One thing to consider along with the wonderful advances of health care in the digital age is… who owns the information acquired through the technologies? To learn more, watch Hugo Campos’ TEDx talk where he discusses his implantable cardiac defibrillator which continually collects information about his body, yet he has no access to it. The information ‘belongs’ to the company who made the device.