Nurses work on the front lines of healthcare, dealing directly with patients. That’s the case whether they work at a doctor’s office or in a hospital emergency room. What’s different today is the technology for nurses that permeates the industry.
Many of the jobs that nurses once had to handle, such as adding information by hand to a medical chart, have long been taken over by innovative technology. Learning how to balance technology with personal nursing care is one of the issues addressed in degree programs in nursing, such as the RN to BSN program or any master’s degree program.
Technology For Nurses in Modern Healthcare
New technology is added to the list of technology for nurses routinely. However, there are some areas that have emerged new nurses must know how to handle. They include the following:
Electronic Healthcare Records
Of all the technology for nurses, this is the one they typically interact with the most. Under a federal mandate from the Obama Administration, all healthcare operations shifted to electronic healthcare records many years ago. Nurses need to know how to enter information into the system and any of its functions. That can include prompts when a certain medication may conflict with something that was taken in the past. These systems also can transmit information between medical providers, although healthcare professionals are still trying to create a system that offers semantic Interoperability.
This is one of many medical devices that nurses often use. An IV pump or IV infusion controls the amount of intravenous drugs received by a patient. Smart IV pumps have software that prevents errors in medication, alerting nurses if a patient is receiving too much or too little of needed medication, according to the journal of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation.
Medication carts have long been used by nurses. The carts have drawers for drugs. Nurses typically prepare medication for patients in a special room or, in some cases, can do so in the patient’s room. However, modern technology now allows nurses to work from a mobile computing station that helps them prepare medication doses for patients. These carts also have a touch-panel screen that allows nurses to access a patient’s healthcare records. That leads to faster and safer delivery of needed drugs to patients.
Call Bell Systems
Call bell systems have been a technology for nurses for decades. But innovative technology now allows the calls made by patients to get sent to mobile devices carried by nurses, allowing them to respond faster and meet a patient’s needs. Some systems, especially those in long-term care homes, may have specialized call tones that let a nurse know immediately what type of service a patient needs.
Patient beds are now full of technology for nurses to use that can improve patient care. The exact nature of the bed can vary from hospital to hospital. However, smart hospital beds contain monitoring systems with sensors that can detect a patient’s temperature, pulse rate, blood, oxygen, and pressure. They can also utilize sensors to cut down on issues such as bedsores.
These are some of the areas of technology for nurses that are changing the profession. For those wishing to move into higher levels of responsibility in the field, knowledge in these areas will prove necessary for success in your career.