Eye-Tracking Glasses For Nurse Training

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Eye-Tracking Glasses For Nurse Training

A marketing research tool makes way to healthcare

By Working Nurse
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Assessment is one of the toughest parts of developing effective training programs for nurses. How do you consistently and reliably determine if students really know what they’re doing? Researchers at UCLA believe that eye tracking may hold the answer.

Enter the ETG

Eye-tracking glasses (ETGs) use tiny sensors to record and transmit not only what the wearer sees, but also how they look at those things. For example, ETGs can determine whether the wearer is scanning a whole page of text or reading a specific line.

This technology has been used for decades in high-end marketing research. More recently, ETGs have popped up in training programs for pilots and other professionals whose jobs demand rapid, high-stakes decisions based on an overwhelming barrage of information.

If you’re thinking, “That sounds like nursing,” you and UCLA School of Nursing Assistant Professor Mary Ann Shinnick, RN, Ph.D., ACNP-BC, CCNS, are on the same page. Shinnick, who is also the director of the school’s Simulation and Skills Lab, recently conducted a validation study on the use of eye tracking as an assessment tool for nurses.

What the Experienced RN Knows

The study, which is now online and will appear in the October issue of Clinical Simulation in Nursing, used eye-tracking technology to analyze the eye movements of both inexperienced and veteran nurses as they performed seven basic nursing tasks in a simulation scenario. All participants had approximately the same knowledge of the conditions and procedures involved, but the veterans performed the tasks much more quickly.

Examining the ETG data revealed why, illustrating the experienced nurses’ ability to rapidly identify the most important data and cues. In other words, the ETGs make it possible to quantify the experience and confidence that separates the seasoned professional from the novice. In simulations, ETGs also allow instructors to see what the student sees, a useful coaching tool.

ETGs are still too costly for widespread classroom use, but the technology has considerable promise. “Patient safety demands nurses be competent, but there has been no uniform, objective method to ensure this,” Shinnick says. “The use of eye tracking can aid in assessment and training and may close the gap of traditional subjectivity.”    

This article is from workingnurse.com.

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