Advancing Science and Simulation to Teach IV Insertion Skills: Jeremy Jarzembak Serves as Co-Principal Investigator for National Science Foundation Grant Award

From Touch Point Online Magazine, Winter 2021, Vol. V, Issue 4

Commonly used by nurses to infuse patient medications and fluids, intravenous (IV) insertion, or cannulation, is a vital but difficult skill for nursing students to master. As Co-Principal Investigator for the study, “Bimodal Haptic-Mixed Reality (HMR) Needle Insertion Simulation for Hand-Eye Skills,” Jeremy Jarzembak, senior lecturer and Simulation Lab co-coordinator for the College of Nursing, will collaborate with a team of researchers at Kent State University to offer students a unique opportunity to learn and practice this essential skill. Recently funded by the National Science Foundation, this multidisciplinary study is led by Dr. Kwangtaek Kim (Principal Investigator) in the Department of Computer Science in collaboration with the College of Nursing, Department of Biological Sciences (Dr. Robert Clements, Co-Principal Investigator) and Department of Psychology (Dr. John Dunlosky, Key Person).

Nursing students typically encounter multiple challenges in developing mastery of IV insertion such as lack of realistic practice environments and inability to replicate patient conditions, including vein rolling and challenges associated with patient physiologic or anatomic variability. These issues will be addressed using advances in haptic technology which applies motions and vibrations to create an experience of touch, along with mixed reality (a hybrid of physical and virtual reality) to develop highly realistic simulations. Two new innovative devices—a haptic glove and stylus—to improve haptic simulation will be developed and integrated with mixed reality to mimic the experience of IV insertion on real patients.

Jarzembak will investigate the educational impact of these new learning technologies to guide the study. Along with Dunlosky and other faculty serving as key personnel, including Jennifer Shanholtzer, lecturer, Simulation Lab co-coordinator, and doctoral candidate in the College of Nursing and Ann James, lecturer and Skills Lab coordinator, the research team will conduct a usability study with 360 students from the College of Nursing. Students will be randomly assigned to one of three learning conditions, or modes, to determine if using the new haptic and mixed reality technology allows IV insertion to be taught more efficiently and effectively by varying the conditions to achieve translation of the skill from the classroom into practice.

Following these training sessions, the researchers will observe and measure students’ IV insertion skills to determine if this technology can achieve similar results to traditional instruction of the skill. “This cutting-edge technology will allow students to practice IV insertion in a safe environment under a number of different patient-simulated variables that students might encounter to achieve mastery of the skill,” Jarzembak explains. “This project pushes us to think beyond typical ways of teaching students and provides a way to improve the fidelity (realism) of the simulated task so students can transfer the skill more readily to improve the patient experience.” Findings from this study have the potential to advance learning in multiple fields with practical applications ranging from robotic surgery to motor skill development related to disability. Jarzembak notes, “It is exciting to work with different disciplines across the university to develop the project. This multidisciplinary project is unique in that it will employ a STEM learning perspective from computer science and biology to help improve nursing students’ skill acquisition.”

Jarzembak received his Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Cleveland State University and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Health Informatics. He earned his Master of Arts in Exercise Physiology and Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degrees from Kent State University. Along with his accomplishments in academia, he has over 17 years of experience as an intensive care registered nurse. In addition to teaching critical care nursing and nursing informatics, he co-coordinates the simulation laboratory for which he develops, designs, and programs nursing simulation activities for both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. His research related to simulation education has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing and Nursing Education Perspectives, and he has presented nationally on the topic of designing simulation as an educational modality at the National Conference of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities and the Emerging Learning and Integrated Technology Education (ELITE) Conference. Jarzembak’s professional affiliations include the National League for Nursing and International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning, and he is a two-time recipient of the Barbara Donaho Distinguished Leadership in Learning Award at the College of Nursing.

UPDATED: Thursday, February 29, 2024 09:47 PM
Denise Karshner