ABSTRACT: Web-based resources for critical care education
To identify, catalog, and critically evaluate Web-based resources for critical care education.
A multilevel search strategy was utilized. Literature searches were conducted (from 1996 to September 30, 2010) using OVID-MEDLINE, PubMed, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature with the terms “Web-based learning,” “computer-assisted instruction,” “e-learning,” “critical care,” “tutorials,” “continuing education,” “virtual learning,” and “Web-based education.” The Web sites of relevant critical care organizations (American College of Chest Physicians, American Society of Anesthesiologists, American Thoracic Society, European Society of Intensive Care Medicine, Society of Critical Care Medicine, World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine, American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and World Federation of Critical Care Nurses) were reviewed for the availability of e-learning resources. Finally, Internet searches and e-mail queries to critical care medicine fellowship program directors and members of national and international acute/critical care listserves were conducted to 1) identify the use of and 2) review and critique Web-based resources for critical care education.
DATA EXTRACTION AND DATA SYNTHESIS:
To ensure credibility of Web site information, Web sites were reviewed by three independent reviewers on the basis of the criteria of authority, objectivity, authenticity, accuracy, timeliness, relevance, and efficiency in conjunction with suggested formats for evaluating Web sites in the medical literature.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Literature searches using OVID-MEDLINE, PubMed, and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature resulted in >250 citations. Those pertinent to critical care provide examples of the integration of e-learning techniques, the development of specific resources, reports of the use of types of e-learning, including interactive tutorials, case studies, and simulation, and reports of student or learner satisfaction, among other general reviews of the benefits of utilizing e-learning. Review of the Web sites of relevant critical care organizations revealed the existence of a number of e-learning resources, including online critical care courses, tutorials, podcasts, webcasts, slide sets, and continuing medical education resources, some requiring membership or a fee to access. Respondents to listserve queries (>100) and critical care medicine fellowship director and advanced practice nursing educator e-mail queries (>50) identified the use of a number of tutorials, self-directed learning modules, and video-enhanced programs for critical care education and practice.
In all, >135 Web-based education resources exist, including video Web resources for critical care education in a variety of e-learning formats, such as tutorials, self-directed learning modules, interactive case studies, webcasts, podcasts, and video-enhanced programs. As identified by critical care educators and practitioners, e-learning is actively being integrated into critical care medicine and nursing training programs for continuing medical education and competency training purposes. Knowledge of available Web-based educational resources may enhance critical care practitioners’ ongoing learning and clinical competence, although this has not been objectively measured to date.