Comparison of two teaching methods for cardiac arrhythmia interpretation among nursing students
Varvarousis, Dimitrios P.
Castrén, Maaret Kaarina
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Aim: The aim of this study was to compare the six-stage method (SSM) for instructing primary cardiac arrhythmias interpretation to students without basic electrocardiogram (ECG) knowledge with a descriptive teaching method in a single educational intervention. Methods: This is a randomized trial. Following a brief instructional session, undergraduate nursing students, assigned to group A (SSM) and group B (descriptive teaching method), undertook a written test in cardiac rhythm recognition, immediately after the educational intervention (initial exam). Participants were also examined with an unannounced retention test (final exam), one month after instruction. Altogether 134 students completed the study. Interpretation accuracy for each cardiac arrhythmia was assessed. Results: Mean score at the initial exam was 8.71. ±. 1.285 for group A and 8.74. ±. 1.303 for group B. Mean score at the final exam was 8.25. ±. 1.46 for group A vs 7.84. ±. 1.44 for group B. Overall results showed that the SSM was equally effective with the descriptive teaching method. The study showed that in each group bradyarrhythmias were identified correctly by more students than tachyarrhythmias. No significant difference between the two teaching methods was seen for any specific cardiac arrhythmia. Conclusions: The SSM effectively develops staff competency for interpreting common cardiac arrhythmias in students without ECG knowledge. More research is needed to support this conclusion and the method's effectiveness must be evaluated if being implemented to trainee groups with preexisting basic ECG interpretation knowledge.