Using Video Assisted Technology and Simulation to Transform a Nurse Anesthesia Machine and Equipment Course
Introduction: Understanding how to use the anesthesia machine and how to troubleshoot when problems arise are paramount for nurse anesthesia practice. Simulation can provide a low-risk setting that allows students to learn in an environment representative of operational conditions. The purpose of this article was first to determine if simulation was an appropriate teaching modality to incorporate into the anesthesia machine course and second to explore the outcomes of utilizing such a modality in a traditional course.
Methods: This 2 group post-test design measured anesthesia machine learning in a traditional classroom and after introduction of simulated operating room experiences. Using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved anesthesia machine checklist, a simulation exercise was formulated to review the basic function of the machine. Students were divided into groups and taken to the hospital operating room twice. The first session reviewed the FDA checklist and focused on the components and their intended usage and proper function. The second session discussed plausible machine failure scenarios. Three written exams, a final oral exam, and course evaluations were used to measure pre- and post-exercise mastery of material, competency, student satisfaction, and confidence.
Results: There were no statistical differences in mastery of material or competency with the modified course. However, student satisfaction and perceived confidence increased.
Conclusion: Use of simulation in the nurse anesthesia machine and equipment course allowed students to practice infrequent events that have grave consequences. Changing the way that nurse anesthesia programs teach this course could not only provide safer, more competent providers but also improve anesthesia safety overall.
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