TNEEL Workshop: Interactive Methods for Teaching End-of-Life Care

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT Nurse educators have identified lack of end-of-life content as a serious deficit in undergraduate nursing education. TNEEL, a new software program with tools for teaching end-of-life topics, was created to help educators overcome this problem. The authors implemented an experiential workshop to help educators learn how to use TNEEL's wide variety of educational tools. Trainers provided information about TNEEL and coached participants (N = 94) as they practiced using laptop computers to increase their familiarity and comfort in using the toolkit. Workshop participants completed pre- and posttest evaluations addressing their opinions and beliefs about using this computer tool. Findings support the workshop as an effective way to facilitate adoption of this innovative educational resource and support the development of a nationwide training plan for TNEEL with experiential workshops.

Key Words End of Life--Palliative Care--Hospice--Computer-Based Learning--Faculty Development--Multimedia Teaching Strategies

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TNEEL (Toolkit for Nurturing Excellence at the End-of-Life Transition) is a CD-ROM innovation that allows educators to teach end-of-life topics using interactive, engaging strategies (1,2). Complimentary TNEEL CD-ROMs have been mailed to every academic nursing program in the United States (N = 1,236) and distributed to educators in 6,000 academic or clinical agencies. Despite this extensive distribution, survey data (3) suggested that faculty computer skills could be a potential and important barrier to TNEEL adoption. * To overcome this potential barrier, the authors offered hands-on workshops to assist educators to adapt and use TNEEL in their curricula. The purpose of this article is to describe the TNEEL workshop curriculum, evaluation results, and future plans for facilitating TNEEL adoption. These findings have numerous implications for the development of similar electronic teaching materials and for helping novice and intermediate-level computer users to use these materials in nursing education.

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TNEEL Overview TNEEL is designed to provide nurse educators in academic and clinical settings with ready access to teaching and learning resources dealing with end-of-life (EOL) concepts (1,2). Although TNEEL offers an easy-to-access, teacher/learner-friendly package of computerized tools for educators to teach palliative care within the basic nursing curriculum, most of the materials could be effective for teaching clinical staff and students from other disciplines. All materials can be saved to personal computers to be used unmodified in classroom presentations or adapted to fit specific teaching objectives or audiences. An easy-to-navigate user interface presents content using multiple delivery methods, including multimedia (video, audio, animation, etc.) and printable media (PowerPoint slides and Microsoft Word documents).

To facilitate easy use of TNEEL, the basic components of the navigation bar--a menu, table of contents, index, search, glossary, user guide, and help--are accessible to users at all times. The TNEEL modules are focused on six core EOL care topics:

1. Connections Communications and relationships supporting patient and family-centered EOL care

2. Comfort Comfort goals and preferences, including assessment/management of pain and other symptoms

3. Ethics Legal and ethical decision-making at the end of life

4. Well-being Hope, suffering, complementary comfort therapies, spiritual and psychosocial needs

5. Grief Grief, loss, and bereavement

6. Impact The impact of EOL care on patients, families, and society

Teaching portfolios for each of the 27 modules include a total of 153 student objectives, 157 myths, 387 definitions, 166 preassessment items, 435 pages of content, 1,000 lecture slides containing speaker notes, 46 case studies, 95 experiential learning activities, media lists with 56 videoclips and 184 audioclips, hundreds of resources, and 157 postassessment items. …