Eye-Tracking-Based Analysis of Situational Awareness of Nurses

Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Oct 26;10(11):2131. doi: 10.3390/healthcare10112131.


Background: Nurses are responsible for comprehensively identifying patient conditions and associated environments. We hypothesize that gaze trajectories of nurses differ based on their experiences, even under the same situation.

Methods: An eye-tracking device monitored the gaze trajectories of nurses with various levels of experience, and nursing students during the intravenous injection task on a human patient simulator.

Results: The areas of interest (AOIs) were identified in the recorded movies, and the gaze durations of AOIs showed different patterns between experienced nurses and nursing students. A state transition diagram visualized the recognition errors of the students and the repeated confirmation of the vital signs of the patient simulator. Clustering analysis of gaze durations also indicated similarity among the participants with similar experiences.

Conclusions: As expected, gaze trajectories differed among the participants. The developed gaze transition diagram visualized their differences and helped in interpreting their situational awareness based on visual perception. The demonstrated method can help in establishing an effective nursing education, particularly for learning the skills that are difficult to be verbalized.

Keywords: education; eye tracking; nursing.