Teaching Telenursing with the Charles Darwin University Virtual Hospital™

Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


The American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing defines telenursing as “the delivery, management, and coordination of care and services provided via telecommunications technology within the domain of nursing.”1 This ranges from telephone triage, digital imaging for wound management, to electronic discharge planning. Telenursing is not a new field in Australia. In 1912, the Australian Inland Mission established nursing posts where nurses in outback Australia were stationed in remote towns and communities to provide care to the community. This care covered midwifery and the immediate emergency care needs of people suffering from injuries and acute illnesses, and the public health functions of health assessment, immunization, monitoring, and health promotion. By 1929 the Traeger pedal radio was introduced in North Queensland to allow communication between the nursing post and the newly established Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) physician, thereby establishing the first routine telenursing service (Fig. 2.1). Within the first year, the RFDS had made 50 flights and treated 225 people. By 1934 a radio was installed in the aircraft allowing communication to be maintained with the ground. This heralded the first telenursing consultation with the physician in flight from a nurse at the remote town of Innaminka.8 Today telenursing is widespread.


Wound Care Mental Health Nursing Telephone Triage Nursing Post Public Health Function 



Charles Darwin University


Royal Flying Doctor Service


Charles Darwin University Virtual Hospital™



Calibrate –

To adjust or determine by comparison to a standard.

Case-based learning –

Using case studies for learning.

Clinical algorithm –

A decision tree to assist with clinical decision making.

Didactic instructions –

The delivery of factual information to the student.

Digital imaging –

Taking digital photographs.

Enquiry-based learning –

A model of teaching that allocates students into groups to work on activities called enquiries.

eReserve –

Electronic library holdings.

External mode –

A mode of study where students do not meet face-to-face with the lecturer.

Formative assessment –

A type of assessment that assesses incremental development of learning.

Heuristic learning –

An educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries made through investigations made by the student.

High fidelity simulation dummy –

A mannequin that is engineered or designed to model a person as closely as possible.

Interactive pen tool –

A drawing tool that is controlled by a computer mouse.

Intelligent simulation –

Simulation activities that respond to the student’s decisions or choices and allow for alternate choices or decisions to be made.

Learning objects –

Elements that are used in teaching; can be physical, audio, video, or a suite of activities.

Learning outcomes –

The explicit outcomes that students are required to achieve from a course of study.

Log on screen –

The initial Internet screen that the user puts their username and password into to allow access.

Online learning –

The delivery of educational materials via the Internet.

Online learning portal –

The opening page of an Internet website used for education.

Problem-based learning –

A model of teaching that gives students problems to investigate and solve.

Simulation –

A method of creating a learning environment or activity that models real life.

Telephone triage –

Providing initial assessment of the patient by telephone.

Triage window –

A window into the emergency department of a hospital that is manned by a nurse who makes the initial assessment of the patient.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.La Trobe Rural Health SchoolBendigoAustralia

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