Utility and Effectiveness of a Remote Telepresence Robotic System in Nursing Education in a Simulated Care Environment11/01/2014
Background: There is a growing shortage of nursing graduates and faculty to prepare students for careers in nursing. One way to ameliorate this paradigm is to integrate technology such as a remote presence robot (RPR) in both clinical and educational settings.
Materials and Methods: The InTouch Health (Santa Barbara, CA) RP-7, an RPR, was deployed in a simulated, multigenerational home where nursing students and faculty interact in a variety of activities. Seventy students and five faculty members were instructed by a remotely located instructor who controlled the RP-7 from a distant site. Students and faculty, using questionnaires, provided feedback on the didactic interaction.
Results: Of the 70 student participants, 56 (80%) responded, and faculty and clinical staff were 100% compliant, resulting in 69 total respondents. Using Krippendorf's themes of (1) usefulness, (2) acceptability, and (3) impact, the data indicated the following. The majority of the students (89%) had no previous experience with the RPR, but the majority (75%) felt that the RPR was a good faculty extender. The students were initially evenly split on first exposure in (a) a positive experience, (b) a negative experience, or (c) a mixed experience. Although there were some technical challenges in operations, these were not deemed significant; nevertheless, they must be addressed.
Conclusions: The results of this study support the use of RPRs as faculty extenders to facilitate course quality assurance when the lead faculty is not on site. Both faculty and students perceive this type of technology as a potential faculty extender, but both faculty and students need preparation for the experience.