Using Scenario Planning to Teach Pre-Nursing Students About Managing Antibiotic Resistance
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Pre-nursing undergraduates in the United States are required to take microbiology courses before they can apply to nursing schools, but newly graduated nurses in the US do not demonstrate a high knowledge of microbiology and related concepts, such as infection control, antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic stewardship. In order to mitigate this problem before students enter the clinical environment, new interventions must be introduced in microbiology courses to ensure students learn key microbiology concepts that can help them become better nurses. In this study, I wanted to evaluate pre-nursing undergraduates’ knowledge about antibiotic resistance, measure the changes in this knowledge before and after different types of instruction, and understand how students utilized a scenario planning-based activity in order to learn about antibiotic resistance. I designed a curricular intervention involving scenario planning in order to encourage pre-nursing students to think about how the antibiotic resistance crisis is expected to evolve over the next twenty years, and to consider their role in changing its impact on patients. To test the efficacy of this intervention, I first collected pre- and post-lab questionnaires testing students’ knowledge of infection control, responsible antibiotic use, and antibiotic resistance in a control semester, in which the scenario planning intervention was not given. I then compared the data collected in the control semester to data collected using the same questionnaire tool in an experimental semester, in which all students participated in the intervention. Quantitative data measuring students’ correct responses to multiple-choice questions in the questionnaire were compared statistically using two-tailed t tests, and qualitative data evaluating students’ rationales behind their answers to these multiple choice questions were coded and compared descriptively. No significant quantitative differences were found between the control and experimental groups, but the conclusions drawn from qualitative data allowed me to better understand students’ misconceptions about antibiotic use and resistance and the way those misconceptions fit into students’ frameworks of scientific knowledge gained from coursework. I was also able to collect evaluation data that will help me to refine the educational intervention for future use.