Nursing students' learning of managing cross-infections--scenario-based simulation training versus study groups

Nurse Educ Today. 2008 Aug;28(6):664-671. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2007.11.003. Epub 2007 Dec 27.


Up to 33% of all health care-associated infections are preventable [Alexander, M., 2006. Nursing Practice. Hospital and Home. Elsevier, Churchill Livingstone]. Nurses must consider how they can address infection prevention, control and management within health care settings. An outbreak of any infectious disease can occasionally occur, even when protocols have been followed. A well-coordinated, multidiscipline response will minimize the impact of the outbreak by controlling and managing the impact and ongoing risks. In this study nursing students were challenged to manage cross-infections based on two hypothetical cases, MRSA and Norovirus. The purpose of the study was to determine the most efficient teaching strategies for managing cross-infections and determining the teachers' role by comparing three different teaching methods; scenario-based study groups with and without teacher and simulation training. A class of 141 2nd year nursing students participated as part of their learning programme on infection control. Out of these 21 students were randomly selected to take part in three focus groups assigned to evaluate the program. Overall, the findings indicated that scenario-based simulation training made the students more aware of how complex each scenario was. Events occurred that they had not expected, and this lead to a better recollection of details. By asking appropriate questions, giving feedback and hypothetical examples, the teacher's role was crucial in both teaching strategies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Competence / standards
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Faculty, Nursing / organization & administration
  • Focus Groups
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / organization & administration
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Norway
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Simulation*
  • Role Playing
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*