Because of the digital transformation of most medical institutions, nursing careers have become increasingly tech-based, and this has brought about both positive and negative changes to the nursing experience and the possible future of nursing. This article will discuss some of the significant impacts that technology is starting to have on nurses within the sector and how their experiences may be different from those of the generations that have come before them.
If you want to know what it is really like to be a nurse, you should know that all of your days will now be technology-centric. From the first days of their nursing journey, technology has become integral to the experience of those that are looking for a career in healthcare. Rather than attending a campus college or university, as many nurses did before them, now, the next generation of nurses are starting to harness technology to get the qualifications that they need. The development of online degrees allows nurses to meet the requirements of specific nursing job roles using the internet and a computer, with many renowned colleges deciding to allow remote students to complete their coursework solely online.
Online degrees operate by allowing student nurses to access materials and resources on the internet, such as lectures and notes, hand in coursework and conduct examinations electronically, and even speak to their tutors and other students on online forums and by email. For instance, Marymount University offers a range of nursing qualifications, including EDD Organizational Leadership, which can help to advance the careers of those who are looking for senior healthcare positions or who want to focus on nursing research.
Technology in Education
Not only this, but many physical colleges and universities use the internet to aid the study of nurses.
The technology that is used in education includes:
- Video conferencing
- Learning management software
- Online Journals
These have all becoming an integral part of most nursing courses worldwide. This technology can always help to give student nurses an engaging experience and allow them to get access to the best training materials. Not only this, but these types of technology can help student nurses to build their interpersonal and leadership abilities through the development of multiplayer and conferencing software, which can allow them to connect with each other, as well as with professionals in the sector.
Research is vital to nurses to ensure that they can keep up with the latest innovations in their sector and even to lead change within their industry by developing new theories and treatments which could potentially boost patient care. The creation of technology and the integration of this within the nursing industry is vital to the experience of nurses as the ability to operate a computer can help nurses to conduct relevant research quickly and easily. This can allow nurses to use more evidence-based practices in their care for patients and ensure that they are using the most up-to-date solutions when they are looking after their charges.
However, technology could also be causing the need for more research as its constant innovations mean that nurses must keep up to date with the latest developments regularly. This means that nurses are having to studying and continue to learn throughout their careers. This leaves many individuals seeking to study for master’s degrees and to return to nursing school to make sure that they are getting all the information that they need about modern nursing practices.
Now that nursing is centered on technology, nurses will be using different equipment and technologies than the nurses that came before them. For instance, nurses now often use medication administration devices, such as scanners, that reduce the amount of human error that can occur within hospitals. Other technologies that are starting to be used include intravenous devices that can alert nurses if they are getting low and need to be changed, ensuring that each patient gets the vigilance and quality of care that they need for their condition to improve.
Some of the other new equipment that nurses have started to operate include cutting-edge tech, such as:
- Electronic medical records
- Online appointment scheduling
- Medicine prescribing software
All this equipment has changed the experience of nurses by making their operations smoother and more organized and relieving the pressure of a demanding workload.
However, although all of this new equipment is bringing about positive changes for nurses, it also means that nurses will experience new training procedures; these will enable nurses to use all of these electronic components correctly and reduce any potential risk for the patient. This could create a skills gap between younger and older nurses if training if not consistent or given regularly to older members of staff. Some countries have now started to implement programs to help nurses to cope with the new technology, such as the NHS and RCN’s ‘Every Nurse an E-Nurse’ campaign in the UK.
Training procedures will also start to look different to previous schemes, with simulations and other similar software allowing nurses to get a hands-on approach to training outside of a practical environment. This can have a positive impact by allowing nurses to get an active education outside of the traditional hospital training programs and check that they are prepared for all the challenges of a real medical setting.
Concern Over Use of Robots
Some sources predict that robots could take over 20 million jobs across all sectors in the future.
However, not all the ways that technology is impacting nurses is positive, and there is some concern over the role of nurses in the future due to the development of robots. Concerns arising from the development of robots include whether there will be any need for human nurses in the future when robots can actively perform their daily tasks. However, while robots are apt to perform administrative and repetitive duties to free up the time of nurses for more complex procedures, they cannot perform some of the more empathetic and humane tasks that nurses perform, such as reassuring and caring for sick and fearful patients throughout their illnesses. This means that the focus on robotics development is not likely to completely reduce the need for nurses within the medical sector in the time to come.