There is no doubt that healthcare remains one of the most important fields of activity as numerous practices applied by healthcare professionals allow to improve the average quality of life significantly. It is common knowledge that nurses and other specialists are supposed to be ready to take decisive actions in case of emergency as securing the life and health of a patient is considered to be their primary goal. Despite this fact, it is necessary to say that patients should not rely only on health professionals when it comes to significant health issues. Instead, they have an opportunity to take care of themselves, but in order to do that, they should be provided with all the necessary information.
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As can be seen, the topic of patient education technologies is extremely important as the latter allow healthcare specialists to encourage patients to change their lifestyles and become more responsible and independent in case of additional health issues. As for the purpose of the given paper, exploration of the topic of patient education can provide health care specialists and future practitioners with valuable information, and the results of the research can be easily implemented into further practice. The impact that patient care has on healthcare delivery in nursing, in particular, is difficult to overestimate because successful patient education often mitigates the risk of complications.
In fact, reflecting on the topic of patient education technology, it is necessary to mention that there are a lot of examples illustrating the great influence that it has on healthcare in general. It cannot be denied that nurses should fulfil a great number of tasks during the day, and it often happens that they lack the time that could be spent on patient education and other types of work that are very important. The most significant example demonstrating the principle of patient education can be formulated as the necessity to use all the resources which are available in order to improve patients’ health and encourage them to take their health issues more seriously.
According to Fisher and Feigenbaum (2015), the promotion of patient-centered care and providing patient education should be attended with the use of different devices such as mobile computers, smartphones, and laptops. More than that, the use of special software for healthcare professionals allowing them to organize the relevant information and complete care plans can be extremely important as it helps to save time that can be spent providing patient education. The necessity to use new technologies in order to provide patient education and give the latter an opportunity to implement certain changes in their plans of care is manifested in one more fact.
Nowadays, a lot of healthcare specialists use various EHR systems allowing them to develop and update electronic care plans; more than that, a lot of applications allow patients to update their plans themselves (Marvin & Pharm, 2017). In fact, the use of modern digital devices and special applications helping to organize the important information is strictly interconnected with patient education as it allows healthcare specialists to save more time or teach patients to use the same devices to retrieve relevant information and apply it.
It is common knowledge that patient education remains an important practical part of work performed by healthcare specialists. Therefore, studying the topic, it can be necessary to use personal experience related to providing or receiving patient education. As for the personal experience, it can be an important source of information as it helps to identify the most pressing problems related to the topic. To me, it seems that I am capable of describing both sides of the problem of patient education as I have had an experience where the topic impacted me personally being both a patient and a nursing care provider. The example that I would like to provide is related to the use of digital devices as well.
During my practice, I was supposed to take care of one of the elderly patients who needed to keep to a diet due to his gastritis. It was necessary to explain to him that products that seem to be healthy may contain a lot of fat and other substances he had to avoid; therefore, I decided to find an application where the extended nutritional information on each product and dish could be found. Having analyzed the sources on the Internet that were available, I decided to teach the patient how to use one website that contained a lot of important information on healthy eating. Considering the age of the patient and the fact that his previous job was not connected to the use of digital devices for information processing, I faced a significant problem because it was quite difficult for me to explain to the patient how to use the website and search the information very fast. In addition, the interface was not very convenient for an inexperienced Internet user.
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It is obvious that “e-learning overcomes many of the traditional barriers to education and offers many advantages” (Hebda, 2013, p.3). Nevertheless, as can be seen from the example, it sometimes happens that healthcare specialists lack knowledge allowing them to provide their patients with information of the effective use of online sources. Taking the problem into account, it is important to define the way to improve the given situation. In fact, there can be a few practices that can prevent such situations in the future.
To begin with, it can be important to provide healthcare specialists with access to online resources related to healthy eating and looking after one’s health that can be used by visually impaired or inexperienced users. Apart from that, it is possible to improve nursing specialists’ knowledge related to computer education so that they will be able to teach patients in a more effective manner. Therefore, in order to improve patient education technology, it is necessary to use additional sources of information and ensure that the level of specialists’ knowledge is appropriate.
In the end, there is a range of problems related to patient education technology that has to be solved in order to improve the quality of nursing care and health outcomes for patients of different ages. The paper is aimed at studying such aspects of patient education as the use of digital devices and the Internet. Summarizing personal experience and assumptions outlined in the works of researchers in the field, it can be stated that it can be necessary to provide nursing specialists with access to specialized sources and improve their knowledge related to computer education. As for the way that my newfound insight will influence my future work, I will try to consider these findings during the work with those patients who have difficulties while using computers in order to prevent such situations in the future.
Fisher, C. A., & Feigenbaum, K. (2015). Harnessing technology to promote patient-centered care. Nursing Management, 46(1), 14-15.
Hebda, T. L. (2013). Handbook of informatics for nurses and healthcare professionals. New York, NY: Pearson.
Marvin, K. C., & Pharm, B. C. (2017). Health information technology: Integration, patient empowerment, and security. American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, 74(2), 36-38.