Comparing the Effects of Simulation-Based and Traditional Teaching Methods on the Critical Thinking Abilities and Self-Confidence of Nursing Students

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Abstract

Background:

Critical thinking and self-confidence are imperative to success in clinical practice. Educators should use teaching strategies that will help students enhance their critical thinking and self-confidence in complex content such as electrocardiogram interpretation. Therefore, teaching electrocardiogram interpretation to students is important for nurse educators.

Purpose:

This study compares the effect of simulation-based and traditional teaching methods on the critical thinking and self-confidence of students during electrocardiogram interpretation sessions.

Methods:

Thirty undergraduate nursing students volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were divided into intervention and control groups, which were taught respectively using the simulation-based and traditional teaching programs. All of the participants were asked to complete the study instrumentpretest and posttest to measure their critical thinking and self-confidence.

Results:

Improvement was observed in the control and experimental groups with respect to critical thinking and self-confidence, as evidenced by the results of the paired samples t test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test (p < .05). However, the independent t test and Mann–Whitney U test indicate that the difference between the two groups was not significant (p > .05).

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

This study evaluated an innovative simulation-based teaching method for nurses. No significant differences in outcomes were identified between the simulator-based and traditional teaching methods, indicating that well-implemented educational programs that use either teaching method effectively promote critical thinking and self-confidence in nursing students. Nurse educators are encouraged to design educational plans with clear objectives to improve the critical thinking and self-confidence of their students. Future research should compare the effects of several teaching sessions using each method in a larger sample.

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