With the advent of AI, Cloud Computing, and IoT, nursing and healthcare are bound to undergo changes. However, in this blog, we will solely focus on nursing and associated healthcare practices in the digital era.
Challenges Do Exist…
Digital technologies may be seen as a distraction from, or an undesirable intrusion into, nurses’ hands-on caring role and therapeutic ties with patients and families. This ostensible mismatch with conventional nursing standards, such as compassionate care, could explain why some nurses are hesitant to embrace digital healthcare.
Nursing informatics has long campaigned for the use of technology to support the profession, yet it has a small number of practitioners worldwide.
The Technologies We Can Look into
Despite the challenges, around 82% of the nurses in the USA believe that nursing technologies will have a positive impact on healthcare. There is a wide range of digital technologies that can be employed to facilitate or extend the profession.
These include practice (e.g., electronic health records, hospital information systems, monitoring systems, telehealth, decision support). These also consist of education (e.g., virtual reality, e-learning, serious games); and rehabilitative and personalized healthcare approaches (e.g., ambient assisted living, assistive devices sensors).
A Need for Reformation in Nursing Education
To make the transition into digital approaches all across the globe, there is an urgent need for reformation in nursing education. Students should be offered training and taught advanced nursing practices right from the start of the programs and courses.
Programs should include opportunities to work with engineering, computing, and other interdisciplinary graduates. Nursing, for example, will require a critical mass of practitioners who are familiar with data science. They know how to utilize it to inform the generation of nursing knowledge to support practice.
Nursing education should adapt its competencies and curriculums ahead of time to accommodate the growing use of digital technologies in all aspects of practice.
Significance of Nursing Leadership in the Digital Era
Nursing leadership at all levels must push for and invest greater resources in a profession that is both enhanced and broadened by digital technology. The nursing profession must continue to champion and assist nurses in their efforts to understand data analytics and virtual models of care.
Nurses should also have a deeper understanding of co-design of regions permitting, the difference across contexts and digital solutions with patients.
Advancement of leadership skills in existing informatics technologies, like electronic health records, clinical decision support systems, and mobile technologies, is critical. These systems will very certainly include growing levels of AI capabilities.
A Need for Re-envisioning Nurse-Patient Relationship
In a digital age, nurses must rethink how they interact with and care for patients. Patients today have access to a wide range of applications (e.g., tailored genetic testing services, virtual mental health support). They can take advantage of mobile and social media applications (e.g., mHealth, wearables) and other virtual healthcare alternatives (e.g., telemedicine, virtual consultations).
All of this may appear to be at odds with the traditional nursing function of therapeutic relationships. But patients are becoming increasingly empowered by staying connected to the Internet.
A cultural revolution is required for the profession. The members and leaders must insist that digital systems evolve to better suit current and emerging needs.
AI in Nursing
The impact of AI on human decision-making and labor are sectors that require immediate investigation in order to enhance nursing practice in the coming decade and beyond. AI technologies have the potential to deliver significant benefits to the profession in terms of data analytics and better clinical decision support.
Many of the supposedly positive effects of AI (e.g., improved patient outcomes, simpler workflow, and increased productivity) have yet to be proven in nursing research. However, it seems unavoidable that AI will be employed more frequently to support and extend the cognitive, decision-making, and maybe labor functions of nurses.
Associated Ethical Implications
As AI becomes more widely used, new policy, regulatory, legal, and ethical implications emerge. The nursing profession must evaluate its role, methods, and knowledge in light of developing ethical frameworks. These frameworks investigate the benefits and risks that AI and other related advancements bring.
Important Advancements and How it is Helping the Nurses
In this section, you will get to see some crucial advancements in healthcare and nursing in the digital era. If you are writing a paper on the same, you can take advantage of the points mentioned here. If you struggle to do so, seek nursing assignment help.
- Robots and AI Lead the Way
In-hospital transfer of medical devices, medications, laboratory specimens, or sensitive supplies is made easier with the durable TUG robot and the streamlined Simeks’ Relay robot. They can transport a large number of racks, trolleys, or bins and work around the clock.
Another robot, Moxie from Diligent Robotics, is assisting nurses in Texas hospitals with repetitious duties. It collects goods from closets and delivers them to patients’ rooms on its own. The Xenex LightStrike Robot assists nurses in maintaining the greatest degree of hygiene. A patient room can be disinfected in as little as 10 minutes, and a surgery suite in as little as 20 minutes, thanks to its UV disinfection robot.
- Virtual Reality in Education
Virtual reality (VR) has the potential to assist medical education, surgery, rehabilitative medicine, psychiatry, and psychology, as well as nursing. Nurses’ training could be aided by virtual simulations. According to a Wolters Kluwer survey, virtual simulations are used in 65 percent of nursing education programs.
- 3D Printing for Complex Language Explanation
Finger splints, organ models, customized plaster casts, biomaterials, food, and, in the future, organs — we can already 3D print incredible things in healthcare. Several of these developments have the potential to significantly improve the work of nurses.
Nurses, for example, who is responsible for explaining medical procedures to patients can make use of precise 3D-printed models. This helps in the enhancement of communication and visualization of complex procedures.
- Technological Assistance in Drawing Blood
The process of drawing blood is frequently a source of discomfort for both patients and nurses. Although it is well known that patients loathe needles, nurses frequently have to endure long and unpleasant minutes before finding the proper vein.
Veebot, the “first robot phlebotomist,” detects a suitable vein using a mix of infrared light and image analysis. It then utilizes ultrasound to determine if the vessel has sufficient blood flow. While it is still under development, it can accurately identify the best vein with an accuracy of around 83 percent, which is comparable to a skilled specialist.
- Telemedicine and Telehealth
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed telemedicine into the mainstream. It’s a useful tool for cutting down on unnecessary hospital visits, lowering the danger of cross-infection while still providing therapeutic care. Telehealth nursing care, which is used in both emergency and non-emergency settings, uses the same technology.
These are some of the advancements that have taken place. And with AI, nurses will soon have numerous technologies at their disposal that will make their job easier. Deep Learning algorithms such as Sepsis Watch can already accurately estimate false alarms, alarm fatigue, monitoring, and much more.
So, we can expect more advancements in the coming days.