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Integration and Application of Technologies in Nursing Practice

Introduction

The modern world has made significant advancements in technological developments in different fields to facilitate the efficiency of human activities. The field of nursing has undergone notable developments that have elicited the need for nurses to embrace it in their practice. In this case, various aspects of the nursing curriculum and practice have adopted new trends characterized by the use of information technology. Technology improves the efficiency of the nursing practice, which implies that nursing professionals need to be skilled for them to operate the ever-evolving gadgets in the field. Therefore, this paper explores the areas of nursing that have undergone technological development to inform students interested in specializing in the field and the public.

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Current Technological Trends in the Nursing Practice

The current nursing technology has transformed the approaches that nurses adopt in their professional undertakings. The continued evolution of the nursing field has facilitated the emergence of new roles to enhance patients’ satisfaction. Additionally, the current developments in nursing have minimized clinical errors and paperwork, thus resulting in inefficiency. The following technological advancements are currently applied in the nursing practice.

Point-of-Care Technology

Point-of-care technology involves the use of computers connected to a wireless network to facilitate access to information regarding the needs of a patient. This aspect implies that nurses can gain “access to the patients’ records, medication information, X-rays, or opinion of other professionals from the patient’s room” (Huston 124). Further development of point-of-care technology is underway to enable nurses to have information readily available through smartphones, tablets, and advanced nursing computer software.

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)

PDAs are portable computer gadgets that enhance access to the Internet for the retrieval of medical information to facilitate the attendance to the patients’ needs in the hospital setting. PDA’s promote point-of-care technology by ensuring the availability of facts when needed thereby reducing medication errors (Huston 126). The PDAs can also undertake electronic charting of the patients’ information, thus facilitating monitoring.

Electronic Health Records

Traditional methods of record-keeping in the nursing field involved the use of physical files for keeping the patients’ data. Currently, healthcare institutions have embraced Electronic Health Records (EHRs) using computer database systems. Therefore, EHRs have facilitated easy management of records, hence improving the retrieval of information (Furukawa, Raghu, and Shao 945). Consequently, excellence in the provision of health services has been achieved, thus leading to the patients’ satisfaction.

Staff and Patient Identification Systems

To prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to patients and their records, electrical identification systems have been developed in the hospital setting. The identification systems apply barcodes, radio frequency identification (RFID), and wristbands that facilitate the management of the population in the hospital environment through tracking and the designation of patients. New technology for identification involves the use of eye scans, microchips, and palm vein technology to manage access to the patients’ files and hospital facilities. This aspect improves confidentiality, privacy, and security (Furukawa, Raghu, and Shao 949).

Emerging Technologies to Transform the Nursing Practice

The diverse changes resulting in the current healthcare sector create perceptions that the developments are sufficient. Contrary to this perception, the dynamic world presents new problems that require innovations that apply technology. In this case, the healthcare sector is subjected to new developments that would revolutionize the operations in the hospital setting. The following emerging technological trends are expected to transform the field of nursing practice.

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Genetics and Genomics

The study of the role of genes in the formulation of an individual’s traits and the overall parts of an organism’s genetic structure is facing new technological advancements. In this regard, the aspect of genetic sequencing and genotyping would be enhanced, thus resulting in better intervention and diagnostic strategies (McBride, Delaney, and Tietze 29). Therefore, the mitigation of genetic and genomic conditions influenced by lifestyle and environmental factors would enhance the delivery of services in the nursing profession.

Robotics

The increased use of robotics in the healthcare sector due to the shortage of nursing workforce is imminent. The need for high-quality healthcare that is not subject to human limitations necessitates the introduction of robotics in a society characterized by technological developments. The growing field of nanomedicine incorporates nanotechnology in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions is expected to bring drastic changes to medical science. Robotics will be fully integrated by 2020 when molecular manufacturing will be economical (McBride, Delaney, and Tietze 31).

3- Dimensional Printing

3- Dimensional (3D) printing utilizes scanners that capture objects in three dimensions through a 3D bio-pointer. 3D printing facilitates the formation of human tissues through the guidance of ‘bio-prints’ to enhance the replacement of human tissues and organs. Besides enabling transplantation of organs, 3D printing also has the capability of developing organs that are identical to the natural ones (Mastrian et al. 152).

Accurate Tools for Diagnosis and Treatment

The development of “accurate and less invasive tools would improve the efficiency of the diagnosis and treatment of complications thereby transforming the nursing practice” (Huston 129). It is imminent that new blood tests that are less invasive to the body organs will replace risky diagnostic angiograms used in the diagnosis of heart issues. Monitoring blood glucose is expected to undergo a transformation through technology whereby tattoos would be used to indicate sugar levels in the blood, thus replacing the finger-prick technique. A dye in the tattoo lights up and diminishes when the levels rise and fall respectively.

Leadership Challenges in Integrating New Technology in Nursing

The new advancements in nursing advancements tend to elicit challenges that need effective leadership for successful integration. In this regard, the following nursing leadership challenges are expected when adopting the new technologies in nursing.

Balancing Costs and Benefits

The benefits of technology in the nursing practice are evident in the efficient hospital operations and satisfaction of the patients. However, operating the modern equipment is usually costly, thus implying that leaders in the nursing field have to formulate strategies to enhance economic operations for cost-effectiveness (Mastrian et al. 187). Additionally, not every patient can pay for services that apply technology, thus resulting in healthcare disparities.

Balancing Human Resources with Technology

The art of nursing focuses on the human connection between the providers and patients. The developing technologies in the field tend to eliminate the essence of the human factor in the field, thus inhibiting the productive interaction between patients and nurses (Furukawa, Raghu, and Shao 960). Therefore, nurses are required to balance technology as a supplement of the human element in the profession for the integration to be beneficial.

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Assuring Ethical Technology Use

The adoption of technology in nursing evokes ethical concerns as leaders are expected to facilitate the morality of technology-based healthcare processes. Leaders need to lay down strategies that indicate how and why technology should be applied to benefit the greatest majority in society (Huston 128). With the hopes of curbing diseases, the consequences need to be considered for the promotion of ethical standards in the nursing profession.

Training and Maintaining Competence of the Technology-Empowered Nursing Workforce

For the provision of efficient healthcare services by using technology, leaders need to ensure that the workforce is well informed and skilled in handling modern equipment. Leadership in nursing is tasked with initiatives that aim at training the healthcare personnel concerning the use of technological facilities in the hospital setting (Mastrian et al. 195). In this view, managing the human resources through the arrangement of training programs and attending to the needs of patients create pressure on the leaders in the nursing field.

Conclusion

The integration of technology in the nursing practice has resulted in drastic changes in the field. Due to the application of technology in healthcare procedures, efficiency in the nursing practice has been achieved thereby creating the patients’ satisfaction. More development in the field is imminent whereby the improvement of the current technology and innovation is expected to affect the operations of the nursing sector. Despite the benefits, technology in nursing tends to evoke challenges in leadership concerning the management of costs, training, maintaining ethics, and ensuring the significance of the human factor. Therefore, it is necessary for technology application in the nursing profession to consider the improvement of the professional, patients, and society in general.

Works Cited

Furukawa, Michael, Sivaj Raghu, and Benjamin Shao. “Electronic medical records, nurse staffing, and nurse‐sensitive patient outcomes: evidence from California hospitals, 1998–2007.” Health services research 45.4 (2010): 941-962. Print.

Huston, Carol. “The Impact of Emerging Technology on Nursing Care: Warp Speed Ahead.” The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 18.2 (2013): 123-129. Print.

Mastrian, Kathleen, Dee McGonigle, Wendy Mahan, and Brett Bixler. Integrating Technology In Nursing Education, Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2010. Print.

McBride, Susan, John Delaney, and Mari Tietze. “Health Information Technology and Nursing.” American Journal of Nursing 112.8 (2012): 26-42. Print.

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