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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Instructional Technology

First Advisor

James L. Moseley

Abstract

This study examined the capability of computer simulation as a tool for assessing the strategic competency of emergency department nurses as they responded to authentically computer simulated biohazard-exposed patient case studies. Thirty registered nurses from a large, urban hospital completed a series of computer-simulated case studies of virtual biohazard-exposed patients. The completed case studies were assessed by the host computer according to computer-programmed criteria. The same case studies were also assessed by a trio of emergency medicine physicians acting as subject matter experts according to their own criteria. The results of this study demonstrated a significant correlation between computer-assessed and physician-assessed simulation exercises against pre-determined performance objective criteria. The data suggests computer simulation can play an important role in emergency and disaster response that offers readily accessible cost-effective training where the opportunity for hands-on practice is limited or impractical. In addition, use of computer simulation can make an effective evaluation of emergency response preparedness possible at more frequent intervals and with greater efficiency.