The role of nursing has not changed much in the past century. However, as we have seen with other professions, technology is changing the way nurses work. Nursing today is a global industry that requires practitioners with a global perspective. Therefore, it is important for nurses to be bilingual and multilingual, which requires them to be fluent in English and another language. They need to be able to communicate with patients of any nationality and culture. In addition, they will need to learn how technology has changed the role of nursing in the coming decades. How? Let’s take a look at how technology has changed the following areas:
In the past, the role of nursing was to monitor and help patients throughout their lifetime. However, as patients became more and more sophisticated, the need for human-like sensors and devices to monitor them became evident. In 1885, Englishman S. Weir Mitchell developed the first pacemaker, which was followed by the advent of the cardiac monitor in the 1950s. Today, most patients are monitored by a combination of sensors and devices, such as ECG, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels.
Electronic Nurses Recordation
ERR has revolutionized the way that nurses record their patients’ clinical data, including nursing diagnosis, procedure, and discharge information. Developed in the 1960s, ERR was designed to be used with a computer and was only made available on punched card systems in the 1980s. However, with the advent of the personal computer in the 1980s and the handheld device in the 1990s, ERR was rendered obsolete. As a result, many healthcare organizations have discontinued using ERR and switched to other, more modern technologies.
Patient/Home Care Management
When patients are able to choose their own caregivers, it becomes more complex for healthcare organizations to manage the care of their patients. This becomes especially apparent when the patients’ preferences are taken into consideration. As a result, some healthcare organizations have developed “golden rules,” which mandate that patients be allowed to select their own caregivers. Because of technological advancements, this has become a reality. In the past, patients were expected to use traditional nursing care methods, such as seeing a certified nurse practitioner (CNP), seeing a physician, or seeing a therapist. With the advent of the Internet and smart devices, patients can now choose to receive home health care or see a physician as part of their regular routine. This has created a shift in healthcare where patients are in charge of their care, and healthcare organizations are adapting to this new reality.
How Technology Has Changed the Role of Nursing
A common misconception about technology is that it has replaced or destroyed jobs. This is not the case at all. Technology simply enhances and complicates existing roles and responsibilities. For example, consumers of healthcare services now interact with healthcare services through digital technologies. This includes digital appointment booking, digital record keeping, digital case management, and even digital patient management. As we have seen with other industries that have experienced major technological advancements, such as the Internet, the nursing profession has also seen it come with change. In the past, when a patient needed to be evacuated to the hospital, the nurse’s role was to call the doctor and initiate the transfer. With the advent of the electronic medical record, which is kept by both the doctor and patient, this has become unnecessary. The doctor can call the hospital directly to make the transfer, which saves both time and money.
Human Resources and Workplace Health Care Management
In the past, human resources was the sole domain of nursing. However, with the advent of the health care job market Share of jobs held by people aged 55+ (%) stagnating and median household income declining over the last decade, the need for competent and motivated nursing staff became evident. With the development of nursing programs that focus on management and business, the need for qualified and able human resource managers became apparent. As a result, many nursing programs now include management-specific courses. With the implementation of electronic medical record, many healthcare organizations have also begun implementing electronic health records. This has led to the need for robust data management and reporting solutions.
Technology has had a significant impact on the way that we do business. It has made many jobs easier, while creating new roles for others. It has also affected the way that we communicate and the roles that people play in society.