The use of technology in healthcare has become very important. According to a report by Cowen and Moorhead (2014), many health experts currently rely on technology to manage various medical problems. Doctors and nurses alike currently rely on technology to enable them do their work in an efficient manner. In fact, there are medical procedures that cannot be performed without the use of technology. In their report, Ball and Hannah (2012) noted that nurses are currently using technology to offer quality care to their patients. Technology is easy the pressure that nurses had, especially in instances where they had to multitask. It has improved communication between nurses and their patients and amongst various medical experts. It is very likely, based on the advancements witnessed in healthcare technology, that nurses and doctors are going to rely more on technology in order to execute their duties. However, it is unfortunate that some of the local hospitals are not effectively equipped with the necessary technological equipment. New medical conditions are arising, and healthcare experts are under pressure to offer superior services. However, they can only deliver quality service if they have the latest technological equipment to supplement their knowledge and experience. It is the responsibilities of the government to ensure that local public hospitals are fully equipped with modern tools that can enable medical staff execute their duties in the best way possible. In this paper, the researcher seeks to determine the relevance of technology in nursing and determine how to lobby the government to budget for these facilities.
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Why the Topic Was Chosen
This topic was chosen because of the growing relevance of technology in the field of nursing. Billings and Halstead (2016) note that nurses have been complaining that focus has been laid on the need to offered doctors with state-of-the-art equipment to enhance their work. However, very little attention has been paid on technology that is specifically meant to ease then work of nurses. In most of the public hospitals in the United States, nurses still have to walk physically into the wards in order to know what is happening to the patients. A few public hospitals have introduced gadgets that can help patients to call nurses in cases of emergency or if they need help. However, a lot is yet to be done to automate nursing activities in public hospitals. In some cases, nurses are forced to work in very dangerous environments such as mental facilities. Such nurses need proper security because they can be attacked by the patients at any time. There must be a system, which allows security officers to monitor these nurses when handling patients with mental problems. These are the primary reasons that made the researcher convinced about the need to conduct research in this field.
Current Relevance of Technology in Healthcare
Technology has never been more relevant in healthcare than it currently is because of a number of reasons. One of the reasons making technology very relevant today is the emergence of new medical conditions, which are very complicated. For instance, Ebola is a dangerous disease that is easily communicable. When handling an Ebola patient, it becomes necessary for a nurse to use some of the modern technologies to ensure that they are protected from the disease. Another reason why technology is important is the increasingly demanding patients that nurses have to deal with on a daily basis. Nurses are human beings with emotions and they get affected by the negative sentiments from their clients. With effective communication technologies, they can easily address the needs of the patients in the wards. It will reduce complaints, hence motivating the nurses in their work.
Sometimes nurses have to multitask. Having technology that allows them to be in one location but able to monitor patients in another location is very critical. It helps in ensuring that none of the patients in need of emergency care is neglected. Technology is also very relevant in facilitating communication between nurses and patients. As Sankaranarayanan and Sindhu (2012) note, nursing as a profession is changing. Nurses are currently finding themselves in situations where they have to make decisions, unlike before when they were considered as basic assistants to the doctors. However, when making some decisions, it may be necessary for a nurse to consult a medical doctor. Communication technologies make it possible for nurses to consult relevant doctors even if the doctor is not within the hospital premises. Such technologies improve care services that a medical facility offers to its patients.
How Technology is Integrated into Clinical Practice
Technology is currently perfectly integrated into clinical practice. From the moment a patient walks into a healthcare facility, the first thing that must be done is to enter their particulars into the systems. Currently this is done electronically, thanks to the new technologies. The electronic system also helps in storing patient information, eliminating cases where nurses had to spend a lot of time looking for patients’ files. Billings and Halstead (2016) says that information management in hospitals has been simplified thanks to the emerging technologies. Nursing informatics is one of the areas of nursing that demonstrates how technology has been integrated into clinical practice. Wireless networks and hands-free communication devices are increasingly simplifying the work of nurses in modern-day hospitals.
Technology has also made it possible for the nurses to do some tasks that were previously done by doctors. For instance, the use of sphygmomanometer enables nurses to measure patients’ heart beat rate. Many other electronic devices are currently used by nurses to facilitate their work. Mcbride (2015) says that one of the areas where technology has proven to be important in nursing is in the area of monitoring patients. The ability of nurses to monitor their patients remotely means that even when a nurse is not physically within the wards, they can monitor their patients and ensure that nothing goes wrong. Wilson (2014) notes that if technology were to be completely taken away, and then nurses will be completely stranded. They rely on technology so much that they cannot work without it. Technology has become an integral part of nursing and that is why it is necessary for the government to equip hospitals with the modern equipment to improve service delivery.
How the Information is Used in Clinical Practice
Nursing informatics is becoming a major field in nursing study because of the increasing relevance of information in clinical practice. According to Cowen and Moorhead (2014), patient information needs to be shared among all the medical officers in a hospital setting. This is specifically the case when a patient needs attention of various medical experts. When a patient is finally handed over to a nurse, there must be adequate patient information that would enable the nurse to understand what should be done. Information is critical in clinical practice. Patients’ conditions must be clearly documented and the information made relevant to medical officers who will be handling him or her. Any tests done on the patient and other observations will define the kind of treatment he or she will get. Nurses are often responsible for administering medicine when a patient is in the ward. Any mistake committed by a nurse such as administering a wrong drug may have serious consequences on the patient. However, such mistakes are often eliminated by having an effective system of sharing information. The nurse will be aware of the needs of individual patient whenever they are attending to them.
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How to Lobby the Local Government for Funds
The local government has a responsibility of ensuring that public hospitals have enough funds to meet their medical needs. Most of these hospitals rely on the payments they receive from health insurance funds and cash payments from the patients who lack insurance cover. However, these sources are not enough. The hospitals need more funding from the government to help in improving its equipment. Some of the state-of-the-art nursing instruments are very expensive and these hospitals cannot afford. The best time to lobby the government for financial support is when the elections are forthcoming. In this community, a number of large associations with many members represent different interests. The political class is always keen on associating with these people during electioneering period so that they get their support. Some of these groups are very powerful because of the large number of people they represent.
It is easy for the politicians heading the government to ignore a plea for financial support from individual healthcare institutions. However, they cannot afford to ignore large associations that are capable of significantly influencing the elections. These different groups may have varying interest depending on those whom they represent, but they are all affected by the healthcare in the country. When the community lacks proper healthcare system, their members end up suffering. The leaders of these groups always want to be seen championing for various rights of people in the society, especially the poor. As such, they are very likely going to support the initiative to equip our local public hospitals. The plan is to lobby these groups to be part of the team that will lobby the government to improve technological facilities in the community. These groups will use the mass and social media, and at times go directly to the local government offices to demand for more resources to the local hospitals. The government cannot afford to ignore such groups.
Technology is very important in clinical practice and a time has come when the government must appreciate this fact. Technological advancements witnessed in some of the top private hospitals in the country should be replicated in the local public hospitals in the community. Nurses need to use emerging technologies to enable them deliver high quality services to the patients. The main problem that most of the local hospitals experience is that these modern technological instruments are lacking. It is important to lobby the government to ensure that it releases enough funds to equip local public hospitals.
Ball, M. J., & Hannah, K. J. (2012). Nursing informatics: Where technology and caring meet. London, UK: Springer.
Billings, G., & Halstead, J. A. (2016). Teaching in nursing: A guide for faculty. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Cowen, P. S., & Moorhead, S. (2014). Current issues in nursing. London, UK: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Mcbride, S. (2015). Nursing informatics for the advanced practice nurse: Patient safety, quality, outcomes, and inter-professionalism. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.
Sankaranarayanan, B., & Sindhu, B. (2012). Learning and teaching nursing. New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers.
Wilson, B. (2014). The nerdy nurse’s guide to technology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Publishers.