Nursing Perceptions of Robotic Technology in Healthcare: A Pretest-Posttest-Survey Analysis Using an Educational Video

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Article, Peer-reviewed

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OCCUPATIONAL APPLICATIONSWe used a survey to evaluate the perceptions of nurses and nursing students on robotic technology for nursing care before and after reviewing an educational video that included examples of medical, care, and healthcare service robotic technology. We found that the perception of robotic technology was innately favorable and became more favorable after the video. It is beneficial for engineers to incorporate nurses' frontline knowledge into the design process from the beginning, while functional changes can be implemented since nurses comprise the largest group of healthcare professionals in hospitals and are the end users of technological devices. Educating nurses in state-of-the-art technology specific to what designers are developing can enable them to provide relevant insight. Designers and engineers can use this insight to create user-friendly, effective technology that improves not only patient care but also nurse job satisfaction.

Keywords: Nurse perception; design process; educational video; pretest-posttest; quality of care; robotic technology.

Plain language summary

Background: Interdisciplinary engineering and nursing collaborations have successfully addressed healthcare-related problems; however, findings highlight consistently that nurse input is underutilized in earlier stages of the design process.Purpose: Our purpose was to capture the differences in perceptions and highlight the insights of nursing students, faculty, and professionals, before and after learning about robotic technology for nursing care.Methods: A quasi-experimental, pretest–posttest survey was employed using an educational video. The survey related to the perception of three different categories of healthcare robotic technology (medical, care, and healthcare service), as represented by eight different subcategories: surgical; robotic diagnostic systems; companion; assistive; medication delivery and dispensing; cleaning and disinfecting; telepresence and remote monitoring; delivery. Participants rated each subcategory using a Likert-type scale with a 5-point response format with four items: impact, acceptance, environment, and use. Scores were summated to represent the overall construct of perception. Qualitative data were collected in the form of open-ended responses.Results: Data were collected from 118 participants, with a survey completion rate of 75%. Mean scores were significantly greater for each of the eight robotic technology subcategories after the educational video, supporting that the video influenced a positive perception of healthcare robotic technology. Themes from comments were categorized into (1) positive, mixed, and negative aspects of the research study, as well as improvements and concerns relating to (2) quality of care, (3) nurse work performance, and (4) nursing as a profession.Conclusion: An educational video enhanced the favorable perception of robotic technology in healthcare. Training nurses on technology fundamentals helped elucidate their potential concerns and identified appropriate applications. It is essential that engineers provide nurses with fundamental knowledge, consistent language, and context about the technology engineers want to develop so nurses can effectively communicate their needs.