Tech for Nursing – Making Working As A Nurse Easier
In the past decade, no-one was able to predict the incredible impact that technology has had on our lives, both for work and leisure. The nursing profession is also part of this high-tech revolution. Who would have thought the day of digitalised consensus forms, cloud-platform medical records, or mobile working would arrive so fast?
This is all very timely. With the health sector looking likely to be facing a shortage of 40,000 nurses, any digital help will be very welcome. It is predicted that 2018 is going to be a truly epic year for digital advancements in the health sector, so let’s look at some of the tech for nursing of the future.
Nurses ditch the office – how tech for nursing went mobile
Across the NHS, nursing staff, occupational therapists and other support staff are being issued with brand new laptops and smart phones for their work. Just by being able to log securely onto their work platforms through tethering their laptop to their phone, which becomes a mobile hot-spot wherever they happen to be, nurses can work from literally anywhere. This is mobile working – the digital office in action.
Nurses no longer have to travel back to an office to log onto desktop computers, which saves time. As they are not using their cars as much, this is saving money, and also reducing their carbon footprints. Doctors’ visits can also be viewed easily, diagnoses and drugs prescribed can be seen all together in one place.
In the same way, staff can communicate far more easily than ever before, with instant access to emails on the go. With pagers and traditional phones becoming a thing of the past, even patients are able to contact their support networks far quicker than ever before.
Tech for nursing is transforming the wards too
Nurses who have to spend precious time trying to track down equipment, hence slowing down patient response time and ward rounds, is now a thing of the past, thanks to advancements in GPS tracking. Medical equipment is now being tagged with radio frequency identification, so it is easy for a nurse to locate and access the closest defibrillator, heart monitor or blood pressure machine.
Another improvement has been in the field of diagnostic devices in clinics, surgeries and wards. Non-invasive diagnostic exams are assisting doctors and nurses to examine patients faster, and with more accurate results than ever before. Handheld biosensors can detect all sorts of symptoms and diseases, and are so much faster than the old-style tests, which could take days to come back from the labs. Handheld detectors also hugely reduce the risk of infection that you can get from needles or other invasive methods of testing. Ultrasound technology has become as advanced as to be able to locate the perfect place for the insertion of an IV – which minimises the nurses time and the patients’ discomfort.
Axe the admin with new tech for nursing
No nurse goes into the profession to sit in an office all day doing paperwork – their job is to be with the patients in the caring role. One nurse, Sarah Newcombe, from Great Ormond Street Hospital, had a great idea on how to cut down on the traditional method of clipboards on the end of patients’ beds.
She invented an app which allows staff to enter a patient’s vital signs through handheld devices, which then generates automatic alerts to the necessary specialist teams if there is any change or deterioration in health. The handheld device system can be used on up to 350 patients at once. This innovative nurse tech idea has been labelled as ‘pioneering’, and has already managed to save thousands of precious nursing hours.
The other culprit of endless paperwork was the old method of paper patient files. These were easily lost or misplaced; when the patient was transferred at short notice, the files could never be located quickly enough, and the different departments involved in the patients’ care were unable to access the records at the same time.
Medical centres, surgeries and hospitals have now embraced the idea of electronic records, so nurses are able to see instantly what medications, allergies, dietary needs, religious preferences and other special notes a patient might have. Test results are also filed electronically and easily and quickly accessed thanks to new tech for nursing, therefore avoiding hours of paperwork.
How about being part of the new wave of nurses?
There are still exciting placements for nurses around the UK. At East Berkshire Primary Care Out of Hours Service (EBPCOOH), we have varied roles for healthcare professionals who want flexibility in hours, and good rates of pay, in an exciting location.
We are currently advertising for Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Dental Triage Nurses, Emergency Nurse Practitioners and Practice Nurses in various locations throughout East Berkshire. If you are a dedicated, caring nurse looking for a new job this year, please contact us to apply for one of our exciting roles. We would love to show you what modern nursing looks like today.