Visual behavior differences by clinical experience and alarming sound during infusion pump operation

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The purposes of this study are to describe the occurrence of long fixation in view points during infusion pump operation and to examine if there are any differences in the visual behavior between students and nurses or between operating the infusion pump with and without an alarming sound.


The participants consisted of six nursing students and three nurses with clinical experience. In a simulated patient room, the participants were equipped with eye trackers and asked to perform two scenarios of infusion pump operation: changing the i.v. tubing position and the air bubble alarm. The eye movement indicators were analyzed statistically with two-way ANOVA (clinical experience and the alarming sound were the fixed factors).


Long fixations appeared frequently at the critical part of the infusion pump operation. The students significantly fixated more frequently and had more long fixations than the nurses. In particular, the students frequently fixated to the manual roller clamp. The eye movement indicators were not significantly different between the two scenarios, but the air bubble alarm scenario had a larger ratio of time fixating to the i.v. tubing and a smaller ratio of time fixating to the patient.


In this study, a large difference could be seen in the comparison of visual behavior by clinical experience. It was clear that the students carefully tried to check each critical point as they were not used to infusion pump operation. It also was found that, although the nurses had relatively consistent eye movement, the students did not grasp the checkpoints and the positions of fixation were dispersed easily as a consistent nursing procedure had not been established.

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