The Effects of Using E-Learning Platforms in Emergency Triage in Saudi Arabia

Introduction

Training opportunities are integral for nurses in all countries. Nurse knowledge and skills have to be constantly improved to provide patients with high-quality clinical care. This research proposal aims at developing a plan for a future project about the peculiarities of e-learning platforms, their application in emergency triage in Saudi Arabia, and their worth for nurses, their knowledge, and skills. In this paper, a general overview, the review of relevant literature, the discussion of key research questions, including aims, objectives, questions, and expectations, the development of the methodology, the explanation of the expected results, and a research timeline will be introduced to prove the relevance and significance of the offered project.

General Overview

Today, Saudi Arabia undergoes considerable changes and improvements in different fields. One of the latest achievements is the development of the health care system and the invitation of new investors with the help of which new doors can be opened, and new professional goals can be achieved. The participation of the private sector has been reconsidered, and the provision of health care services has been improved. Regarding the fast development of modern technologies and evident technological progress, people from different parts of the world are able to use the Internet, various online services, and software to meet their educational purposes.

Training and management are crucial steps in the health care system of Saudi Arabia, as well as in the systems of other countries (Dalhem & Saleh, 2014). E-learning is the possibility to strengthen the knowledge base of all nurses and improve the delivery of health services (Mwaikambo & Dolphyne, 2016). Modern researchers and developers introduce a number of e-learning platforms regularly, and the task of managers is to understand the needs of their employers and make the right choice. In Saudi Arabia, there are several e-learning platforms that can be offered to nurses in order to improve their knowledge bases and skills. Some of these platforms are based on the examples offered by foreign countries, and some platforms are developed especially for Saudi Arabia learners.

The development of e-learning platforms for nurses who work in emergency triage is an important step because more than 16 million citizens of Saudi Arabia address the emergency department (ED) annually (Aljohani, 2017). It is not enough to prove that nurses have to improve their skills and learn as much as possible in order to provide all patients with appropriate care and support. It is necessary to make sure that each nurse has enough opportunities to enlarge their level of knowledge, use the best services, and share their knowledge with other medical workers in order to increase patient satisfaction level and take appropriate steps quickly. E-learning is a complex concept in Saudi Arabia’s health care, and nurses should know how to use it and gain benefits in their work and for their patients’ safety.

Review of Relevant Literature

There are three main themes that have to be discussed in this project. First, the evaluation of current nurse knowledge and skills in Saudi Arabia should be given to understand what kind of work has been already done. Second, a review of the literature on e-learning platforms in Saudi Arabia is required. The final step is the investigation of the work of the emergency department and the peculiarities of the ED triage.

Nurse Knowledge and Skills in Saudi Arabia

Nowadays, many young Saudi nurses continue struggling with their expectations versus the reality of their jobs (Fareed, 2017). The necessity to work long hours, the obligation to deal with intense work, and the impossibility to cope with social and family pressures challenge nurses in Saudi Arabia. In addition to the fact that they have to face new tasks and a new environment, they have to understand how to make quick decisions, consider the opinions of patients, and follow the orders or recommendations of other medical workers. The result of such diversity between expectations and reality is low recruitment and a serious staff shortage (AlYami & Watson, 2014).

Modern researchers find it important to evaluate nurses’ knowledge and attitudes towards different aspects of clinical care, including pain (Eid, Manias, Bucknall, & Almazrooa, 2014), oral care delivery (Alotaibi, Alotaibi, Alshayiqi, & Ramalingam, 2016), emotional disorders (Yaghmour, Gholizadeh, & Alsenany, 2016), and other health problems. Though nursing in Saudi Arabia has not achieved the “Gold Standard” in practice yet (Alqhamdi & Urden, 2016), numerous attempts continue to be made, various health care policies are discussed, and new regulations are developed.

E-Learning Platforms for Nurses

Many studies have already emphasized the importance of e-learning for nurses and underlined a number of positive benefits, including a unique possibility to deliver nurse knowledge globally (Dalhem & Saleh, 2014), improve motivational aspects of nursing (Fontaine et al., 2016), and develop new academic qualifications (Arna’out, 2016). To achieve positive effects of e-learning platforms in the field of nursing, it is not enough to offer them to nurses and make sure that all of them follow the instructions, perform tasks, and meet their professional goals in a proper way. Harerimana and Mtshali (2017) admit that certain attention should be paid to teachers’ level of knowledge about e-learning so that they could support nurses, but not frustrate or challenge them. Finally, e-learning platforms vary in different countries, and not many efforts were spent to cover the peculiarities of Saudi e-platforms and the conditions under which Saudi nurses use the platforms of other countries like Canada (Arafat, Al-Farhan, & Khalil, 2016).

Emergency Triage in Saudi Arabia

One of the most effective achievements in the field of medicine is the application of triage in work with patients. Triage means that all patients have to be sorted in regards to their priorities (ElGammal, 2014). In Saudi hospitals, patients have to receive the necessary portion of care. When many patients are delivered to hospitals or address at the same time, it is hard to pay enough attention to all of them in a proper way. Therefore, triage systems are developed to meet the needs of patients and use the resources of a hospital (Kuriyama, Urushidani, & Nakayama, 2017). The Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (CTAS) is one of the well-known triage systems according to which many hospitals worldwide work. Still, inconsistency in the application remains to be one of the problems some hospitals have to solve (Saeed et al., 2017). Nurses should develop their knowledge on how to use triage systems, how to communicate with patients, and how to deliver health care services in a proper way. However, not much attention is paid to the development of e-learning activities for nurses in terms of triage systems in Saudi Arabia.

Key Research Questions

Aims and Objectives

The aim of this project is to discuss the effects of using e-learning platforms for nurses to improve their knowledge and skills in emergency triage in Saudi Arabia. There are several objectives that have to be met, including the investigation of nursing in Saudi Arabia, the evaluation of e-learning activities available to Saudi nurses, and the discussion of the effectiveness of the emergency triage system.

Research Questions

The main research question is “Is it effective to use e-learning platforms on nurse knowledge and skills in emergency triage in Saudi Arabia?”. To answer this question, several supplementary discussions should be developed regarding such questions as:

  1. What are the gaps in nursing knowledge in Saudi Arabia?
  2. What is the nurse attitude to e-learning in Saudi Arabia?
  3. How does the emergency triage system work in Saudi nursing?
  4. Are nurses satisfied with learning and working conditions in Saudi Arabia?

Expectations

At the end of this project, it is expected to get the answers to the above-mentioned questions, gain a better understanding of Saudi nursing, and realize if e-learning is the activity that has to be developed in the country. Several opinions of nurses, feedbacks from patients, and recent investigations should help to clarify the situation and explain the effects of e-learning among nurses.

Methodology

In addition to the review of the relevant literature, this research will be based on a mixed research design where the process of data collection and analysis is based on the results of interviews and questionnaires. An interview is a qualitative research method with the help of which the opinions of 20 nurses of different ages from different hospitals of Saudi Arabia about the quality of their education, their learning opportunities, and working conditions will be gathered and evaluated. A questionnaire will be offered to 40 patients (no age/gender limitations) who address the emergency department of their local hospitals. The information about the quality of care, management details, and personal attitudes to nurses’ work will be gathered. Finally, the evaluation of recent articles and news should help to clarify what e-learning platforms are effective in Saudi hospitals. The chosen mixed strategy should help to combine qualitative and quantitative information about e-learning for nurses, the gaps in nurse knowledge, and the expectations versus the reality of services in emergency departments where triage systems are used.

Expected Results

It is expected to gather the opinions of nurses about the worth of e-learning in their practice and investigate the level of knowledge nurses can use while working with triage systems in Saudi hospitals. Questionnaires with patients should help to evaluate the level of quality of nursing services based on triage systems studied through e-learning. The results should prove that e-learning is a good opportunity for nurses to improve their knowledge and skills. Still, Saudi Arabia is the country where e-learning platforms have to be improved due to a low level of coincidence between nurses’ expectations and the reality of work.

Timescale

Task Time
Gather material, conduct a literature review, research details discussion, communicate with potential participants One month
Develop an outline, get a supervisor’s improvement, consider feedbacks given One week
Conduct interviews and questionnaires and investigate the results One or two weeks
Evaluate the material, introduce the results, develop a discussion, consider the requirements One month
Make improvements, proofread, edit, and communicate with a supervisor One week
Consider feedbacks, make last improvements, and create a final project One week
TOTAL: 3,5 months

References

Aljohani, M. (2017). Emergency department triage in Saudi Arabia: Towards a standardized national triage system. Web.

Alotaibi, A.K., Alotaibi, S.K., Alshayiqi, M., & Ramalingam, S. (2016). Knowledge and attitudes of Saudi intensive care unit nurses regarding oral care delivery to mechanically ventilated patients with the effect of healthcare quality accreditation. Saudi Journal of Anaesthesia, 10(2), 208-212.

Alqhamdi, M.G., & Urden, L.D. (2016). Transforming the nursing profession in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(1), 95-100.

AlYami, M.S., & Watson, R. (2014). An overview of nursing in Saudi Arabia. Journal of Health Specialties, 2(1), 10-12.

Arafat, A., Al-Farhan, A., & Khalil, H. A. (2016). Implementation of the Canadian emergency department triage and acuity scale (CTAS) in an urgent care center in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 9(1), 1-5.

Arna’out, A. R. (2016). The effectiveness of e-learning coordinators performance: Faculty members perspective. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 6(1), 35-48

Dalhem, W. A., & Saleh, N. (2014). The impact of eLearning on nurses’ professional knowledge and practice in HMC. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 9(3-4). Web.

Eid, T., Manias, E., Bucknall, T., & Almazrooa, A. (2014). Nurses’ knowledge and attitudes to pain in Saudi Arabia. Pain Management Nursing, 15(4), 25-36.

ElGammal, M.E. (2014). Emergency department triage: Why and how? Saudi Medical Journal, 35(8), 789-790.

Fareed, A. (2017). Young Saudi nurses struggle with expectations versus the reality of the job. Arab News. Web.

Fontaine, G., Cossette, S., Heppell, S., Boyer, L., Mailhot, T., Simard, M. J., & Tanguay, J. F. (2016). Evaluation of a web-based e-learning platform for brief motivational interviewing by nurses in cardiovascular care: A pilot study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 18(8). Web.

Harerimana, A., & Mtshali, N. G. (2017). Facilitation strategies used in e-learning by nurse educators in Rwanda. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 8(1), 24-32.

Kuriyama A., Urushidani S., & Nakayama T. (2017). Five-level emergency triage systems: Variation in the assessment of validity. Emergency Medicine Journal. Web.

Mwaikambo, L., & Dolphyne, A. (2016). Leveraging open-source technology and adapting open eLearning content to improve the knowledge and motivation of Ghana’s rural nurses. Knowledge Management & E-Learning: An International Journal, 8(1), 55-67.

Saeed, A. B., Al-Fayyadh, F. M., Alshomar, K. M., Zekry, Z. W., Alamiri, N. N., Abaalkhail, A. M.,… Alaska, Y. A. (2017). Validating the implementation of the triage system in an emergency department in a University Hospital. Journal of Health Specialties, 5(2), 73-79.

Yaghmour, S., Gholizadeh, L., & Alsenany, S. (2016). Understanding the gap in Saudi nurses’ knowledge of dementia, depression and delirium (the 3Ds), and investigating their relevant experience: An exploratory study. Open Journal of Nursing, 6, 148-157.