In the nowadays world, the ignorance of computer technologies is intolerable. Any sphere of human activity involves good knowledge of new technologies: because the modern world is built on information, electronic devices designed to work with raw data and process it according to the instructions (programs) help in various spheres (Thakur, n.d.). The rapid development of computers and other devices all over the globe has given the rise to the progress within the social system.
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Since the humanity has entered a new era, the core principle of convergence of knowledge and technology for the benefit of society is rooted in people’s minds (Roco, Bainbridge, Tonn, & Whitesides, 2014). Within the framework of new challenges, relatively distinct communities, disciplines, and technologies constantly transform and tend to draw together. At this stage, the ability to implement innovations in a certain professional sphere is the key factor that determines success worldwide and provides the fundament for the future growth.
Nursing is not an exception. In recent times, the role of a nurse has significantly broadened: they are not only caregivers but also administrators and researchers. Just as any realm, nursing demands the most prominent methods to act effectively and meet the expectations of the society. To reach this goal, it is necessary to address the newest technologies. Health informatics has become an indispensable part of the present-day knowledge and continues its development.
The objective of this paper is to describe the most significant subfields of nursing on which computer technologies apply leverage. In this respect, patient care, administrative areas, and nurse education are considered through the perspective of the modern health care. Several examples of the innovations currently used are given.
The primary duty of a nurse refers to patient care. Computer technologies implementation brings a wide range of benefits concerning disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment enhancement.
One of the advantages is an easy access to information. Mobile Health (mHealth) and Cloud Computing technologies are perfect examples. MHealth gives an opportunity to overcome social boundaries and reach marginalized areas as well as help developing countries (Hannah, Hussey, Kennedy, & Ball, 2014). Prevention and early diagnosis maximize patients’ chances to recover: using mHealth applications, one may search for information and health services, and health care providers can stay in touch with people.
While mHealth connects patients and medical staff, cloud computing in medicine is primarily intended for nurses and physicians. Cloud technologies are sophisticated computing services that provide nurses with access to on-demand resources. Gaining immediate access to the necessary information, a nurse can perform decision-making tasks faster.
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Another advantage of computer technologies deals with fewer displacements within the service. The care process significantly speeds up. It is vital since some pathological cases, for instance, severe sepsis and septic shock, require quick actions (Matsuda, Évora, Higarashi, Gabriel, & Inoue, 2015). As a result, nurses not only act productively and have better working conditions but also spend more time with patients.
While the challenges connected with health and patient interaction are successfully addressed by computer technologies, administrative issues are equally subject to innovations. There is little doubt that filling forms, scheduling, collecting data, and writing reports are time-consuming. Under such circumstances, the risk of error increases. Whether it is an unreadable prescription or special diet recommendations, electronic systems may help identify mistakes and alert for dangerous harm interactions (Matsude et al., 2015). Computer technologies may substantially help because a part of administrative work may be done and checked by programs.
In addition, properly organized data are closely connected with patient care. Electronic medical records contain all information associated with patient care: testing results, prescriptions, specialty referrals, and other aspects necessary to consider. By means of hand-held computers, nurses can answer patients, contact physicians, and enquire about persons in their care.
Professional nurse training should deal with health informatics on a regular basis and integrate it into nursing curricula to prepare future specialists for the world of information technologies (Gonen., Sharon, Offir, & Lev-Ari, 2014). In the sphere of education, computer technologies influence nursing in several ways.
In the process of learning, an electronic device is one of the most useful adjuncts. Nurses advance their theoretical knowledge via books and other academic sources of information. Interactive learning is a great advantage: while the traditional approach is not to be ignored, computer technologies boost interaction and cooperation among teachers and students. Besides, it is an opportunity to master one’s communicational skills. Individual needs are also taken into account: computerized self-evaluation programs may help nurses control their progress, mark strengths and weaknesses, and correct deficiencies.
Since a nurse has to perform numerous procedures, students need to be prepared to real-life situations. It is much easier for nurses to embrace new technologies that have a direct relationship with patient care (Hannah, 2014). Such issues are addressed by computer-based simulations, for instance, drug guides.
As an integral part of education, research is also under the influence of new technologies. Getting access to the most relevant publications is fundamental: a specialist needs to be familiar with medical innovations. Power Point presentations, videos, tables, and diagrams are valuable tools.
The impact of computer technologies is hard to overestimate. A computer is not a mere machine for solving problems: this device has revolutionized the whole society in terms of people’s perception of the world and their views on knowledge and information.
A computer-oriented society is advantageous: it is ruled by order and accuracy and highlights the principle of convergence, that is the close link among dissimilar technologies and subject areas. In response to the rapidly changing world, people not only join their forces but also integrate different branches of learning.
In this context, nursing is an illustrative example: everyday practice demonstrates the importance of the computer technologies and their implementation. Health informatics is a promising area in which more inventions may be expected in the nearest future.
Taking into consideration the multiple tasks nurses accomplish, a computer-oriented society should pay attention to three areas of nursing. First, the task of paramount importance is to enhance patient care: information of high-quality should be provided for health care workers as well as patients. Then, it is vital to continue improving nurses’ administration: to cope with scheduling, reports, other types of paper work, and information collection, they need a wide range of programs. Last but not least area concerns nurse education: due to the fact that students need appropriate theoretical knowledge and practice, medical schools provide access to professional literature and training programs and encourage research.
To conclude, the social impact of computers is strong nowadays. It is urgent to support nursing and other spheres that introduce new technologies into service by cooperation, education, and access to information.
Gonen, A., Sharon, D., Offir, A., & Lev-Ari, L. (2014). How to enhance nursing students’ intention to use information technology: The first step before integrating it in nursing curriculum. Computers Informatics Nursing, 32(6), 286-293.
Hannah, K. J., Hussey, P., Kennedy, M. A., & Ball, M. J. (2014). Introduction to nursing informatics. Baltimore, MD: Springer.
Matsuda, L. M., Évora, Y. D. M., Higarashi, I. H., Gabriel, C. S., & Inoue, K. C. (2015). Nursing informatics: Unveiling the computer use by nurses. Texto & Contexto-Enfermagem, 24(1), 178-186.
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Thakur, D. What is computer? (n.d.). Web.
Roco, M. C., Bainbridge, W. S., Tonn, B., & Whitesides, G. (2014). Convergence of knowledge, technology and society: Beyond convergence of nano-bio-info-cognitive technologies. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.