I have two cousins who went to nursing college and have now been working as nurses for a couple of decades. While chatting with them recently I was amazed to learn how technology has changed the way patients receive treatment. In recent years, technological advancements have made the impossible possible in the medical field.
For example, the introduction of optical scanners has made it possible to detect melanoma without an invasive surgical biopsy. And, needle-free diabetes makes self-care less painful for diabetes patients. That’s such a great step forward.
The nursing industry, especially, is no stranger to recent technological advancements. The completion of day-to-day tasks is more efficient now than it ever was in the past. And, attention to patient care is easier than ever to attain.
Let me share some of the fascinating recent advances in technology that have benefited nurses, and advanced the nursing profession:
Real-Time Locating Systems
Real-time locating systems keep track of medical equipment and people, which means nurses are never left without the devices they need, and they don’t have to worry about an elderly patient wandering away from a safe place. This innovation utilizes ultrasound, infrared technology, or radio-frequency identification tags to help track the equipment or patient.
Nurses use these devices for tasks, such as finding the nearest blood-pressure machine, monitoring the maintenance cycles of medical equipment, or helping with managing patient flow. Patients can be monitored around the clock, which helps with response times. With this technology, nurses check in on patient’s more often, which means a better medical experience for patients. It also helps with their admission and discharge.
No More Back and Forth
Another amazing technological achievement is the introduction of tablets and mobile charts. Nurses no longer have to search rooms, nursing stations, and medication areas for supplies and equipment. Mobile devices cut down the back and forth running nurses typically do, and they also allow them the freedom to check lab results and charts while standing at the patient’s bedside.
Tablets also have their place in the classroom. Although they’re not yet given to students, nursing students are encouraged to purchase and use their tablets to take notes and/or record lectures in the classroom. Graduate nursing programs at GMercyU refer to their students as “the next generation of leaders,” and it’s true that technology is helping to build the character of these healing individuals.
There’s an App for That…
There are a myriad of nursing apps available, and each one aims to make the nurse’s life easier. The Nursing Essentials app allows nurses, specifically those who are studying to be a nurse, to access a slew of information regarding specific care areas, such as pediatrics and cardiac.
Also, the WebMD app gives nurses a good variety of medical information at their fingertips, so they can look up ways to explain medical care to patients who don’t have any knowledge of medical terminology.
Medical History is a great app because it lets nurse’s program their patient’s history, upcoming appointments, and medications. Also, check out Tabler’s Medical Dictionary app and the PEPID app, which gives detailed information for a variety of different elements in regards to nursing and patient care.
Safety is Paramount
While it doesn’t happen often, there have been cases of the identities of patients becoming mixed-up and confused. In today’s busy society, it is crucial to identify patients and staff members correctly. Luckily, bar codes can be scanned on charts and wristbands, and they’re a great way for nurses to correctly identify who someone is. Even hospital visitors can be assigned a bar code.
People who aren’t wearing these wristbands can be identified as possible interlopers, and asked to leave. There’s also the innovation of eye scans, microchips, and palm vein technology, which prevents unauthorized staff from accessing patient files.
Technology is continuously changing and emerging, and the nurses’ role will continue to change with each technological achievement. These advancements are making the future safer and better for nurses who love their field, and love the patients they care for.
Clearly we’ve come a long way!