Nursing Technology

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 up-to-date.

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.