The effect of formative evaluation using “direct observation of procedural skills” (DOPS) method on the extent of learning practical skills among nursing students in the ICU

Roghieh Nazari, Fateme Hajihosseini, Hamid Sharifnia, Hamid Hojjati


Background: Learning of clinical skills in the intensive care unit (ICU) is important for nursing students. “Direct observation of procedural skills (DOPS)” is a modified objective method in the field of medical sciences, and we conducted this study with the aim of investigating the effect of evaluation using DOPS method on learning practical skills among nursing students in the ICU.

Materials and Methods: This semi-experimental study was conducted on 39 nursing students of the 7th semester (20 in the intervention group and 19 in the control group). First, the control group students spent their apprenticeship by the routine assessment method. The intervention group underwent formative evaluation using DOPS method in addition to the routine one. At the beginning and end of the period, skill levels of both groups in performing two optional procedures (arterial blood sampling and endotracheal suctioning) were evaluated using checklists, and each student’s skill score was calculated in a range of 0-20. Period initiation and termination scores were considered as pre- and post-test values, respectively.

Results: The results showed no significant difference in pre-test scores between the two groups (P > 0.05), whereas the mean difference of post-test scores was significant for both procedures between the two groups (P < 0.001). Difference between the mean values of pre- and post-test scores of the two procedures for both intervention and control groups was significant (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that DOPS formative assessment, more than the routine approach, increases arterial blood sampling and endotracheal suctioning skills in the ICU. Therefore, it is recommended that this method be used in other wards as well as for other skills.

Key words: Clinical evaluation, direct observation of procedural skills, nursing, practical skills

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