In the face of sudden illness or injury, admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) may be inevitable. Patients in the ICU often
require mechanical ventilation through an artificial airway which makes verbal communication impossible. The inability
to speak, along with compounding factors that influence level of consciousness, often complicate communication between
the nurse and the patient, contributing to frustration. Perceptions of the ICU experience and caring as reported by patients,
family and nurses are abundant. Few reports of images triggering empathy can be found. No reports or discussions were found
connecting the impact of photographs on nurse caring. None of the references included nursing students in their publications.
Participants were 66 third year and 64 first year BSN undergraduate students. In the simulation center, students visited two
ICU rooms with an artificial machine representing a male patient who was sedated, not moving, wrists restrained, colorful
waveform continuously flowing bedside monitor. Students spend several minutes in each room. Students complete a semantic
differential. Using SPSS 25, a Dependent t-test analysis compared the ICU Room #1 with ICU Room #2 (collage of pictures).
ICU Room #2 had higher means on all comparisons. The 130 participants rating were statistically significant ranging from
p=0.001 to p=0.042. An Independent t-test compared the third year and first year students. There were no significant differences
between the first year (no clinical experience) the third year students (1.5 years of clinical experience) on comparisons of ICU
Room #2 (college of pictures). On adjective comparisons of ICU Room #1, first year students had higher means than third year
students. The 24 significant comparisons ranged from p=0.001 to p=0.034.
Dale M Hilty, Associate Professor, has received his PhD in Counseling Psychology from Department of Psychology at the Ohio State University. He has published studies in the areas of psychology, sociology and religion. Between April 2017 and April 2018, his ten research teams published 55 posters at local, state, regional, national and international nursing conferences.