Essentials of Critical Care Orientation (ECCO)

  1. Many hospitals, mine included, use ECCO as an educational tool when orienting nurses to critical care areas. Lately, it seems like we have nothing but issues. The test questions are unclear, the servers are often down, progress is not saved, inadequate or inaccurate information is presented, not enough feedback on incorrect test answers, grammar and spelling issues on the slides, to name a few.

    I found out that my employer pays several hundred dollars per employee to have access to this course. ECCO is endorsed by the AACN, which is obviously important, but do they have the monopoly on this?

    I know some hospitals have actual in person critical care classes, but that can't possibly be more cost-effective than an online class, so I'm going to exclude that from this discussion.

    Are there other similar courses? Is ECCO the best or just the best-funded? Are there statistics out there about how much people learn completing ECCO modules vs. other teaching modalities? I know it's touted as being just as good educationally as other means, but is that just advertising or is there actual data involved?

    Basically I think it would be a cool side project to collect data on the topic, and to understand more about what aspects are helpful. It seems that in my experience, ECCO frustrates nurses to the point of cheating on tests they can't pass, and then they're taking the course to pass a test, not to understand content. There has to be a better way to deliver the didactic information. What do you guys think about it?
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    About CCU BSN RN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Sep '16; Posts: 216; Likes: 562
    Staff RN; from US
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in CICU, Telemetry


  3. by   AceOfHearts<3
    I hated the Ecco modules. They contain a lot of good information but all the clicking was horrible. It was also super frustrating to not be told the correct answers to questions. Sometimes I'd go to the section of the module they said the question was from and search and search and still not find the answer. I have the CCRN book and I found that more helpful than the modules for answering some of the questions. It also took much much longer to complete the modules then what the AACN estimated it would take- some took me twice as long.

    I thought the information didn't always flow very well and needed a bit more of background info in some modules. I found myself wishing I had a plain old textbook to just read through for all the info instead of the modules. I self-taught myself in some of my nursing classes and found sitting down and really reading the textbook was the best way for me to learn the info. The modules really aren't designed for how I learn best.
  4. by   CCU BSN RN
    Ace of Hearts,
    I totally get that a book would have been more helpful. If we're sticking to an online class, though, we probably won't get that due to cheating concerns.

    I like the feedback that more background would improve the flow and present the information in a way that would be easier to understand.

    I also hear you that when you get a question wrong, you end up scouring a module for the info to get it right, and much of the time you still don't know why your answer was wrong. Your cost/benefit is TOTALLY off, which I think is most of what frustrates people.

    Thanks for sharing!
  5. by   blackandyellow
    I have never used these modules however my unit has recently started using them for all new orientees without critical care experience. They were introduced to us as being the top notch for education however those orienting my unit complain frequently about them. My orientee told me she just clicks through the modules and retakes the test to get a higher grade and isn't retaining much from them. Like I said these are new to our unit so I will have to see how it goes through a few cycles but so far they have not been well liked. I have relayed this information to my manager and we are waiting to see how they work for the next few cycles of orientation.
  6. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Many people that I know just started to click through the modules too. I started off taking detailed notes, but it was taking me way too long and I was given a very specific time frame for getting them done so I eventually just started clicking through too. The AACN estimates it will take 60 hours to complete the modules, so that's the amount of time I was paid to complete them. I was given a period of 2-2.5 weeks to have them done and just barely finished them in time despite doing little else for 2 weeks and spending 12+ hours a day at times on the modules. I completed them to complete them, but I've gone back to look at different things since then. Between the time crunch and the sheer amount of info I was on overload.
  7. by   CCU BSN RN
    Yeah, it seems that the general consensus is to retake the tests over and over until you pass, which is obviously not helping you to learn the material. Also, with so many 'select all that apply' questions, and no feedback about wrong answers, even people who employ this method are still having difficulty passing them.

    It just seems like there must be a better way to present the material and assess knowledge than the types of questions that are presented.

    This begs the question, who designed ECCO? Does the AACN have a vested interest in it financially? Is it actually the best way to deliver the information? Are there alternatives?
  8. by   blixkanaan
    ECCO modules are a serious pain. Very informative but take way too long. I will get paid for up to 60 hours on ECCO modules. But I'm a quarter of the way through and have already spend 40 hours on it.
  9. by   delaneyjaney
    I recently started ECCO and got an e-mail from the AACN that they are revamping the course starting Nov. 9th. Supposedly they are adding rationales to the tests for correct/incorrect answers and they are reducing the amount of select all that apply questions to 20%. They also are taking out quizzes after every assignment. Hopefully they have listened to all of this feedback and the new content will be better than before.