As noble as a job of a nurse, nursing practices have been evolving ever since. Keeping the monetary aspect aside, nursing a patient, taking good care, and giving him medicines and the necessary nutrition via food is the best job in the world. As technology is influencing every field of work these days, nursing isn’t behind too.
Technology in healthcare and technology have made life easier for nurses to handle patients with care and pay attention to them as well. In the case of aged patients, they can be wirelessly monitored via sophisticated devices that help us know about their whereabouts whenever necessary. A patient’s health history can also be checked and updated as per need, or whenever necessary.
Healthcare technology can be used for proper communication, accessing patient’s history, and helping nurses to do their roles to perfection. The errors are reduced substantially, as any wrong actions may cost the life of a patient. Due to digital technology imbibed in daily work, the accessibility to a patient has become much easy and can get to him/her more easily and fast, before any mishap happens.
What are the technologies being used in nursing practices?
1. Smart beds
Smart beds help nursing practices get easier as they provide every detail about a patient’s movement. It acts as an in-room monitor that keeps a check on the patient and sends notifications if any unnecessary or dangerous activity that may harm the patient is detected. The patient’s behavior is monitored 24*7, so any other condition, if developing, in the patient, can also be diagnosed by the nurse. Stocking supplies and adjusting the medical equipment via the smart bed devices and the mobile app is a great innovation in this field, as the nurse need not come there to do it physically.
2. Wearable devices
Devices that help track heart rate, exercise intensity, sleep pattern, and respiratory pattern too, are the best technology innovations that help nursing practices immensely. Tracking health to solve some specific issues related to a patient is where wearable devices help in huge numbers.
With the capacity to store an immense amount of data, wearable devices can give reports from diagnosis to recovery without any errors. As the machines are of course automated, they eliminate the dangers of human errors that can be too risky at times. Watching the patient’s heart rate, breathing technique, sleep patterns, brain functioning, and any other dysfunction in the body, all of it can be diagnosed without causing any errors. This is the impact of technology on nursing practices.
3. Mobile monitors
In nursing practices, continuous patient monitoring can be a tedious task. Patients tend to fidget and help fellow patients admitted, in case any help is needed. But, in such a case, they do not realize that they are putting themselves at risk. Due to mobile monitors, nurses can monitor the respiratory tract and oxygen levels and if needed a notification is sent to the nurses to alert them about the respective patient. In the majority of hospitals, the levels of patients are checked regularly by nurses.
In case of any ups and downs in a patient’s health, they are notified via smart devices to be aware and take good care. Nursing schools train the nurses according to their respective levels and make them use the devices in an optimum manner. Some common equipment that is standard in their operations is taught to the nurses to avoid confusion.
4. Automated IV drip
In nursing practices, the drip is a thing that needs to be adjusted a couple of times. The technology and software allow changes in the drip flow so the patients need not be waiting at the hospital for changes. The nursing practices can be sped up and allows the patients to notify the nurse if there is a need for immediate adjustment. It makes the nurses easier to focus on other areas of work instead of doing some unproductive jobs like giving medications and food to the patients. To make life easier, the nurses are properly trained by the hospitals according to the equipment they use which helps them do their job appropriately.
Benefits of technology in nursing practices;
1. Improved communication
Technology has improved communication in almost all fields. Especially in nursing, as the whole staff can make use of real-time messaging tools, team collab tools, and intercoms to establish fast and immediate communication in case of emergencies. This increases coordination among the team and helps to work productively and adds ease into the work process.
2. No errors
Long shift hours, night duties, and hectic schedules make the nurses commit errors or mistakes which normally do not happen. So, to avoid the same, technology can handle some tasks in a day that occupy a nurse’s important time. E.g the automated IV drip can give the patient the right amount of dose at the right time. No need for the nurse to come for a round.
3. Easy accessibility
Accessibility to patient data has become very easy via digital means. The past or existing health records make it easier for the nurses to gain the health history of the patient and give treatment accordingly. It will only help the nurse to perform better at her job and show more productivity while being the best at the workplace.
Technology has played a vital role in the nursing field. As data is easily accessible, no hassle of deriving the past health history of the patient and worrying about further treatment. It improves taking care of the patient extensively and keeps the patient and his relatives at ease too. It is easy for them to be in constant contact with the nurse to check up on their loved ones. Nurses are a blessing to mankind, and an underrated job too. With this amalgamation of technology and nursing, we just have to wait, watch and adapt to the latest emerging trends regularly.