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Pain Management

A dual patient hospital scenario was developed, which included one male and one female adult patient, in separate rooms. Research participants assumed the role of the nurse in the computer-based game and were responsible for pain management decisions for the patient complaining of acute pain within the computer simulation. Several interactions between the nurse and the patient took place, including a nursing assessment of pain, and the nurse making a choice of how to treat that pain. The simulated patient used a numeric pain scale (0 to 10, with 0 representing no pain, and 10 representing pain as bad as it could be) to report the intensity of their pain. Research participants chose from a variety of treatment options, including pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions. The patient reacted with either increased pain, decreased pain, or pain unchanged. The virtual patient verbalized during the scenario how he/she felt when the chosen intervention was implemented. The nurse had the opportunity to make additional choices if he/she determined additional action was necessary. This study was to determine if the computer generated environment engaged nurses and drew their attention to the tasks within the computer game. The usability of the interface to convey choices and consequences of actions chosen was examined.

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