Dr Carey Mather

What’s the research –
Becoming a health professional includes learning from experienced clinicians who encourage students to gain knowledge and skills and develop professional behaviour to prepare for working in their chosen profession. Now with the easy access to mobile technology, students and their teachers can access credible information without leaving the bedside. In Australia there is a lack of guidance about how this new activity can be included safely and appropriately as part of delivery of care to patients. This research investigated the challenges, risks, barriers and benefits of using mobile learning at point of care by nurses.

Why it’s important –
Finding out what the challenges, risks, barriers and benefits of being able to access information for learning at the bedside with patients is very important to make sure a high level of patient care can be safely delivered. Identification of activities that could impact on the quality and safety of care is important before it is introduced into clinical environments. This research investigated how mobile devices are currently used by nurses for learning within healthcare environments. It also explored how nurses would prefer to incorporate mobile learning into their work. Nurses in professional organisations were also asked about how guidance for mobile learning was being included in policies and guidelines. Knowing how mobile devices are accepted by end-users and how this technology is used in healthcare environments will shape how future policies and guidelines will be developed to make sure patient safety and quality of care is protected.

What have we learned –
Access to mobile devices for learning in healthcare environments by nurses in general, is not allowed. Nurses tell ‘tales’ of why they believe mobile devices are not used in healthcare environments. Organisations do not support the use of mobile learning even though it could benefit patient care. Only when health professionals realise the value of being able to access information at the bedside and lobby for inclusion of this activity in their routine care, will patients benefit from the use of this technology at point of care.

Who should read this paper –
Any Australian healthcare professional would benefit from reading this article. Senior administrative, clinical, education and specialist health informatics professionals and consumers with ability to influence policy development would benefit from understanding the complexity of access and use of mobile devices in Australian healthcare environments.

To read the entire journal article, click here.

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#Mobile #learning in #nursing: Tales from the profession explains why nurses don’t use mobile technology for learning in practice