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New Tech Skills Every Nurse Needs

Technology has become an increasingly important part of healthcare. Nurses must know how to use technology in their nursing practice. They need to keep up with new technological methods and equipment. A Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) degree program can prepare nurses to incorporate technology into the delivery of patient care.

What Skills Do Nurses Need to Keep Up With Technology?

Since nurses are lifelong learners, they understand the need to stay informed. They can learn about new technology through reading nursing journals, attending conferences, participating in training exercises and enrolling in continuing education programs. Nurses should possess these attributes to successfully work with technology.

  • Analytical ability.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Computer literacy.
  • Critical thinking.
  • The ability to input and retrieve data.
  • The ability to use and maintain equipment.
  • Problem-solving.

How Can an RN to BSN Program Prepare Nurses to Use Technology?

In most RN to BSN programs, nurses learn to utilize data and explore the development of technology and information management systems. Students in the online nursing program offered by the University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) take the course Computing for Nurses for RN to BSN. Throughout the course, students examine sources of healthcare information and technological innovations. They look at the role technology plays in nursing and how it affects patient care.

Why Is Technology Important in Nursing?

Technology is transforming nursing. Because of technology, nurses are able to spend more time with patients, reduce the number of errors, retrieve more information, research evidence-based practices, boost efficiency and improve safety.

What Are Some Kinds of Technology Used in Nursing?

Electronic Health Records (EHR) - Charts with illegible handwriting are being replaced by EHR. Nurses can quickly access a patient's health history at the bedside or anywhere in their healthcare facility. The EHR also facilitates communication between healthcare team members, records diagnostic test results and sends alerts about possible prescription interactions.

Monitors - Monitoring systems are improving patient care. They can show the heart rate of baby in the uterus, display the electrical rhythm and pattern of a patient's heart, or measure blood pressure, pulse and respiration. Hospital beds have built-in systems that notify nurses about a patient's movements.

Drug Retrieval and Delivery Systems - Life-threatening mistakes are reduced with the implementation of barcoding and verification of medications and automated dispensing machines. Computerized devices control the dosage of medications while infusion delivery equipment makes it easier to slowly administer drugs.

Portable Defibrillator - Prior to the introduction of the portable defibrillator, manual cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was the technique used to save a patient experiencing heart failure. Now a portable defibrillator allows nurses to take immediate action to revive a patient.

What Current Technologies Are Healthcare Organizations Adopting?

The application of technology in healthcare continues to grow. Here are just a few significant breakthroughs:

  • Real-time locating systems: The system tags and tracks medical equipment so nurses know where to find what they're looking for.
  • Smart alarms: The technology combats alarm fatigue. The smart alarm monitors a variety of patient vital signs through one system by measuring physiological indicators. The integrated system replaces multiple equipment alarms.
  • Patient lifting technology: The mechanical device prevents nurses from harming themselves and cuts down on injuries to patients who have to be lifted.

Healthcare and technology are more intertwined than ever. Nursing school prepares students to provide patient care in a technological environment. Once students graduate, it is their responsibility to continue learning about cutting edge technology. The chances for positive patient outcomes are higher when nurses embrace technology and have the knowledge to properly employ it.

Learn more about ULM's online RN to BSN program.


Sources:

Rush University Medical Center: 19 Technologies That Changed Nursing Forever

U.S. Food & Drug Administration: Patient Lifts

Houston Chronicle: Technical Nursing Skills

Houston Chronicle: What Technology Do Registered Nurses Use?

Monster: Technology in Nursing

H&HN: 8 Required Skills for Today's Nurses

TravelNursing.org: 7 Tech Breakthroughs That Will Make You a Better Nurse

The Informatics Nurse: Skills Needed by an Informatics Nurse

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