Just as research leads to advancements in medicine, vaccines, and
disease prevention, it also leads to advancements in the technology
used to treat patients. Nursing technology doesn't necessarily mean
nurses are using tablets for patient records or laser scalpels, but
it does mean nurses are using technology that makes nursing practice
and the care of patients easier and better. This could mean machines
that perform tests or read their results, or devices that monitor
vitals and administer medications.
What kind of technology do nurses use?
A lot of the technology used by nurses depends
on their specific field and their responsibilities and duties.
For example, a nurse working in an emergency room uses very
different technology than a nurse-midwife working in a birthing
center or in patients' homes.
Much of the technology used by nurses is for testing or evaluating
patients. Machines that monitor vitals and x-ray machines, for example,
help nurses gather information about the patient for the physician or
health care team to use to diagnose and treat him or her. Other
machines, such as dialysis machines, help nurses with the interventions
to help patients get and stay healthy.
How does technology benefit nurses?
Like technology in other fields, nursing technology
is used to make things easier and more efficient for nursing staff.
Machines that monitor a patient's vitals, for example, mean a nurse
doesn't have to go in and check vitals as often. Patient charts set
up on computers in a hospital's network means a nurse doesn't have
to write a patient's history or information on a physical chart.
Instead, it can be quickly added to the system and updated or
changed easily to keep everyone on a patient's health care team
Using nursing technology can help nurses get necessary, time-consuming
tasks done quicker so they can focus on making sure their patients
are as comfortable as possible, and helping them take care of basic
needs, such as dressing and bathing. When nurses can focus on the
comfort of a patient, he or she will be able to heal emotionally
and mentally while they heal physically.
How does nursing technology benefit patients?
Nurses aren't the only ones who benefit from nursing
technology. There are benefits for patients, as well. By using technology
to get patient information and vitals faster, a patient can get a faster
diagnosis. With a faster diagnosis, a patient can get answers sooner, and
be moving toward health faster. Nursing technology also increases accuracy
of test results. While health care professionals are highly trained to read
test results and perform the tests, having a calibrated machine perform
tests or read test results decreases the chance of errors. This means
patients are better assured at having higher quality care and more effective
interventions. It also means that the time saved by nurses thanks to technology
can be devoted to making sure patient questions are answered and he or she
understands everything that's going on as he or she is getting care.
Using the technology that researchers develop for the health care industry
has benefits for both nurses and patients. In addition to making things
easier for nurses as they care for patients, technology can increase the
efficiency of interventions, make tests and their results more accurate,
and give nurses more time to focus on the general care of their patients
instead of attending to other tasks such as charting by hand or retrieving
information about the patient. And just as advancements in medications mean
better treatments for patients, advancements in nursing technology mean better patient care.