Attitudes toward computer technology between nursing and medical educators
Harsanyi, Bennie E.
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This descriptive study compared nursing and medical educators' attitudes toward computer technology. The primary assumption was that an individual's perception of, acceptance of, and resistance to automation was related to attitudes toward automation. The effect of demographic characteristics, previous experience and education regarding computer technology, and the usage of computer technology in educational and clinical environments was also addressed. A belief exists that biomedical technological innovations are being diffused at a slow rate. The educator's mission is to prepare professionals to function in technologically-based health care delivery systems. Attitudes regarding the human-machine interface can impact the diffusion process and this mission. Reported research regarding attitudes toward computer technology does not compare nursing and medical educators' attitudes. One hundred seventy-seven Texas nursing and medical educators responded to the Attitudes Toward Computers in General questionnaire and the Computer Attitude Profile. The results indicated no significant difference between nursing and medical educators' attitudes toward computer technology. Demographic variables were not significant. Previous experience with computer technology was significant, but negatively correlated; whereas, education regarding computer technology was not. Usages of computer technology in educational and clinical practice environments were not significant. However, word processing and record keeping (educational environment) negatively correlated with attitude toward computers in general. In the clinical environment, diagnosing was positively correlated and patient assessment and network systems were negatively correlated with attitudes toward computers in general. Recommendations for further study included investigation of: (1) the relationship of peer influence and the educators' role in professional networks on attitudes toward computer technology in educational and clinical practice environments; (2) educators' attitudes toward specific technological innovations perceived as enhancing or threatening the traditional professional roles in educational and clinical practice environments; and (3) the use of attitude assessment data as they impact technological innovation in the development of education, training, orientation, implementation, and attitude modification strategies. Other recommendations were included.