The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing is developing a series of interactive CDs that test students' skills in lifelike computer simulations, the Birmingham News reports. Professor Angela Collins plans to use them as a teaching resource and as continuing education for practicing nurses.
The school has completed the first of five CDs and is developing a second. It plans to start selling the first two CDs to other nursing schools by the end of the year. The sales could help pay back the $20,000 grant from the university to develop the five-CD series.
In the first CD, an unconscious patient is admitted to a hospital with an unknown diagnosis. The student, through a series of multiple choice questions, must assess the patients' condition, deliver the right drug and give the appropriate treatment. The second CD, scheduled for completion in six months, will feature two emergency department patients with chest pains (Velasco, Birmingham News, 6/7).
New York Times Looks at Online Bidding Systems for Nurses
In related news, the New York Times on Sunday looked at online bidding systems that nurses use to pick up extra shifts. At hospitals such as Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in South Carolina, Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in New Jersey and St. Peter's Hospital in New York, nurses post online offers to work available shifts at a specific rate. The nurse who submits the lowest rate wins the shift.
Nurses' unions oppose the bidding systems and say improved wages and working conditions would be a better solution to the nursing shortage. Most hospitals that use the bidding systems do not have nurses' unions, the Times reports (Koeppel, New York Times, 6/6).