Facilitating student nurses' learning by real time feedback of positioning to avoid pressure ulcers--Evaluation of clinical simulation

Lena Gunningberg, Ulrika Pöder, Cheryl Carli


Background: Reduction of pressure and shear is recognised as the single most important intervention in order to prevent pressure ulcers (PU). Recently, an objective way to measure and receive feedback about the amount of pressure at the body-mattress interface has become available.  Using such feedback in a simulated scenario in which there is a hypothetical risk for pressure ulcer development may prepare students in a safe and controlled environment for clinical placements. The aim of the study was to assess whether student nurses’ learning about optimal repositioning could be facilitated by real-time feedback in a simulated PU prevention scenario.

Methods: A quantitative study was performed in the Clinical Training Center using a descriptive, comparative design. Student nurses from the second (n = 24) and last (n = 32) semesters worked in pairs. Their task was to place two volunteers (69 and 70 years) in the best pressure-reducing position (lateral and supine), initially without access to the pressure mapping monitor and then again after feedback. In total 232 positionings were conducted.

Results: Despite the controlled environment, there was considerable variation in peak-pressure readings between student pairs Mean peak pressures were consistently higher in the lateral position compared with the supine, both before and after feedback. After feedback from the pressure mapping monitor, most peak pressure readings were significantly reduced and the number of preventive interventions and patients’ comfort had increased.

Conclusions: Including simulation of PU prevention in the nursing curriculum provides the possibility for students to train repositioning in a safe environment. The immediate feedback from the pressure monitoring system may strengthen students’ confidence and competence on clinical placements.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v6n1p1

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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