Let’s talk computers: Telenursing
Erwin is a computer geek. He spends hours and hours in front of the computer monitor, doing this and doing that. Name a computer problem and he can solve it like a pro. You may mistake him as a computer engineer or an IT, but hey, surprise surprise, he is a nurse. Though he has always dreamt of becoming a nurse someday, the computer has always appealed to him. It has amazed him in so many ways that he couldn’t help but try its wonders. In such a short period of time, he learned how to manipulate it.
As he graduates from nursing school, he wonders if he can do both things he loves all at the same it, but then, “you can’t serve two masters” he thinks to himself. He claims his diploma and walks proudly as he is now finally a step closer to becoming a Registered Nurse, but still a thought bothers him. “I hope someday I’d be able to pursue my passion for computers.”
Getting to know telenursing
Cellphones here, laptops there. Amazing how technology has crawled its way up into people’s daily lives, maybe even becoming a necessity to some. It has benefit people and some professions in many ways, jobs are made easier, time less wasted and other tasks accomplished more effectively. Even the nursing profession isn’t an exception as technology has paved way to lots of improvements and discoveries in health care. In fact, in as simple as providing guidance, education, or lab results over the telephone, nurses are taking part in the so-called “telenursing”.
Telenursing is defined as the use of “technology to deliver nursing care and conduct nursing practice. Nurses hold a central part of the use of technologies in health care, aside from those mentioned above, telenursing may also include more sophisticated systems other than the telephone, such as two-way audio and video systems, Internet, satellite, and other communication systems.
Usually, telenursing focuses on the delivery, management, and coordination of care and services using telecommunications technology within the domain of nursing. Though the use of telenursing may change the delivery medium of nursing care and may necessitate competencies related to its use to deliver nursing care, the nursing process and scope of practice are still the same.
Nurses engaged in telenursing practice continue to assess, plan, intervene, and evaluate the outcomes of nursing care, but they do so using technologies such as the Internet, computers, telephones, digital assessment tools, and telemonitoring equipment. In other words, nurses still utilize the nursing process to provide care for individual patients or defined patient populations over a telecommunication device.
Telehealth nurses may provide nursing care by using clinical algorithms, protocols, or guidelines to systematically assess patient needs and symptoms; prioritizing the urgency of patient needs; collaborating and developing a plan of care with the patient and supportive disciplines, which may include recommendations for care, call back instructions, and education; and evaluating outcome.
Other clinical functions of telehealth nurses are monitoring patients with chronic diseases, helping patients manage their symptoms and co-morbidities, and coordinating care for patients who require services from numerous health professionals.
One of the advantages noted by researchers about this breakthrough in nursing is when patients start seeing all of their own data, then start connecting the dots about their disease processes, begin managing their diseases better, and dramatically reduce their utilization of acute care services, such as emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
In the modern day that we live in now, a lot of changes have started to emerge. As nurses, we must be able to adapt these changes and learn how to best work with it. After all, why not give it a shot if it may help us in rendering quality and more effective nursing care?