There has never been a time in my life where I was not completely fascinated with technology. I love gizmos, gadgets, gaming, and all types of nerdy gear. I use technology anytime I can and I love it because it makes complicated tasks much more simple and automates many things in my life. But even though I’m an ultra-nerd and love iPhones, EMRs and nursing technologies I know that I’m in the minority when it comes to being a nerdy nurse.
Nurses are constantly being asked to go above and beyond. They are stretched to their limits and have one of the most stressful jobs there is. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get all the things accomplished the need to, much less want to. So any added inconvenience, like a pesky EMR or smart pump, for example, are really a bother to many nurses.
I don’t think that nurses are purposefully trying to avoid learning about new technology. I just really don’t think that many nurses stop to think about the bigger picture when it comes to technology. I mean, they know they have to do it because they are being told to. They hear whispers of why it’s better for patient care and that this is the future of healthcare.’ But I really don’t think many nurses have ever actually had many of the benefits of technology in nursing explained to them. I think they are often told Do this. You have to, and so they do it, albeit with great resentment and often times, just enough to get by.
Hospitals and healthcare organizations have really got to start doing a better job of empowering their nurses to see the benefits of technology and to let them know how it can make their lives better. And I’m not sure talking about how EMRs and computerized inventory systems cut costs or track data more consistently and lead to big meaningful use dollars. I’m talking about how EMRs can help nurses save time and effort when caring for their patients. I’m talking about how beside electronic medication verification and barcode scanning can reduce med errors and save lives. I’m also talking about how nurses can use tablets, smartphones, and other technologies to increase their knowledge and become more empowered nurses.
But healthcare organizations have budgets to worry about and regulatory requirements to meet. So there is a hole that needs to be filled. Nurses need to be better educated on technology and that’s where I come in!
In addition to maintaining a nursing and technology blog, I’ve written a comprehensive technology guide to help nurses embrace technology and leverage it to become more confident in their jobs, more marketable, and better informed of change in healthcare. The Nerdy Nurse’s Guide to Technology is The book on technology for nurses and every nurse should have a copy.
It’s high time that nurses own technology instead of letting technology them.