Problem Based Learning: Its
Use in the Nursing Skills Lab
   AFACCT Annual Conference, January 12-13, 2006

        Lisa Gotschall, MS, RN, CS
        Kathy Martin, MS, RN, CS
         Frederick Community College
                 Frederick, MD
          Learning Outcomes
• After completion of this program, participants
  will be able to:
  – Describe the tenets of Problem Based Learning
  – State strengths and weaknesses of Problem Based
  – Describe how Problem Based Learning enhances the
    development of critical thinking skills
  – Describe how Problem Based Learning can be utilized
    in the nursing skills lab
          Basic Tenets of Problem Based
• Instructional method using “real world”
•   Students:
    – Acquire knowledge – emphasis is on “making
    – Increases relevance of new material
    – Practice critical thinking and problem solving skills
    – Identify and utilize learning resources
                Why PBL?

• Promotes critical thinking
  – Analysis
  – Reasoning
  – Decision making
  – Independent judgment
                 Why PBL?
• Promotes group work – brainstorming,
  cooperation, communication, problem
• Encourages ownership of the learning
  – Prepares students to be life-long learners
• All essential characteristics of a
  professional nurse
        Disadvantages of PBL

• Transition is difficult for students and
  – Non-traditional delivery of information
• Increased time to teach content
  – Increased prep time
• Finding problems – writing problems
• Faculty lack of skills as facilitators
              Student Role
• Present student group with problem
• Group roles emerge
• Group discussion
  – Identify previous knowledge
  – Identify knowledge gaps
  – Students rank learning issues
  – Summarize new knowledge
     • Ongoing process for ALL
             Faculty Role

• Guide, probe, question, direct
• Support student inquiry
• Provide direction to resources
• Can stop group discussions to “focus” on
  key learning outcome content
• Monitor group functioning
         Creating Problems

• Content reasonable for time allowed
• Consider learning objectives
• Complex enough to incorporate prior
   How to Create Problems
1. Identify major concept or main idea
2. Include some details that propel the
   students toward learning objectives
  • Specific guiding questions
3. Provide adequate access to resources
• Library             • PDA’s

• Mannequins          • Computer Software

• Skills Packs        • Skills DVD’s
      How FCC Implements PBL
• Groups 3-4 students in skills lab
• 11 – 3 hour labs using PBL problems
   – First 30 min. discussion of problem
       • Review known information – using TLC Medical Center database
       • Identify learning goals
   – Utilize resources
       •   Client scenarios (syllabus)
       •   Library, textbooks, videos, Skills DVD, PDA’s
       •   Wrap up and share solutions to problems
       •   Attempt to answer NCLEX-style questions
   – Practice skills
       • Skills packs
       • Mannequins
Sample Problem
Sample Calendar

 Kathy Martin –
Lisa Gotschall –

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