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School of Nursing Faculty Publishes in Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare

Karen Breitkreuz

Karen Breitkreuz, associate professor for the School of Nursing, published an article in the Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare volume 11 issue five.

The article, “How Do Simulated Error Experiences Impact Attitudes Related to Error Prevention?,” aimed to determine whether exposure to simulated error situations would change nursing students’ attitudes toward risk. Specifically, did exposure to simulated error situations change student attitudes toward error awareness or change how carefully students performed risk-related activities?

Breitkreuz sought to compare the attitudes of nursing students exposed to current educational practices, which included watching movies involving third-party stories of serious error experiences and their consequences, with the attitudes of nursing students exposed to simulated error experiences. A long-term goal of the study is to understand factors that will most effectively shape a program of education for error prevention and that will provide a significant and lasting impact on attitudes and behaviors to decrease rates of errors.

Participants of the study included 58 prelicensure nursing students. All students had experienced two semesters of academic work including: simulation and clinical hours in local healthcare facilities, clinical rotations in the medical-surgical setting in local healthcare facilities, and basic error prevention skills education in two previous semesters.

Results showed that there were no significant differences between groups in pretest responses to questions about how frequently errors occurred or how cautious participants thought they were in comparison with their peers. The simulation intervention was perceived to be more memorable than the movie intervention. After the interventions, participants in both groups became more aware of the frequency of errors. Comparing the two groups immediately after the intervention, simulation participants had higher perception of frequency of medication errors.

Breitkreuz’s study provides limited evidence of an advantage of simulation over watching movies and describing actual errors with respect to manipulating attitudes related to error prevention. Both interventions resulted in long-term impacts on perceived caution in medication administration. Simulated error experiences made participants more aware of how easily errors can occur, and the movie education made participants more aware of the devastating consequences of errors.

Breitkreuz joined the Boise State School of Nursing faculty in August 2011. Prior to beginning her service here, she was an assistant professor-in-residence at the University of Connecticut School of Nursing, and served in their School of Nursing’s International Nursing Studies program as assistant to the coordinator, and as professor and resident director to nursing students studying in Cape Town South Africa. Breitkreuz’s professional research interests include pediatric nursing, inter-cultural proficiency, international nursing, international nursing education, and the use of technology in nursing education.