5 Technologies That Transformed the World of Nursing ForeverFebruary 7, 2017
Electronic IV Monitors
One of the benefits of electronic monitoring is that it is no longer necessary for nurses to administer intravenous feeds continuously. IV pump infusions provide more controlled medication delivery by ensuring a constant flow of fluids and medications like pain meds on demand (within specified limits). Nurses still check on patients and tend to new issues, but there is no longer a need for nurses to continually make rounds to check on each and every patient every few minutes.
Patient Lift Devices
Moving immobile patients from a bed to a wheelchair or another bed was often a task for two or more nurses and a physically demanding one at that. The appearance of patient lift devices that allow one nurse to move even a large immobile patient and place them wherever required is one of the major changes in nursing over the past few years. It also explains why nurses are now able to continue working into their fifties and sixties – skill matters more than brawn now when machines do the heavy lifting. And, as this paper from Bradley University’s online nursing program notes, nurses have to deal with long hours, which can potentially put them at risk of developing injuries.
The sphygmomanometer is the electronic blood pressure cuff that records the patient’s heart rate automatically. Use of these devices simplifies and standardizes collection of patient vitals. These devices also enable patients to check their own vitals in many pharmacies and often at home, providing closer monitoring of high blood pressure patients at a lower cost.
Online learning has revolutionized nursing. You can earn continuing education credits at home or at the end of your shift without having to change your work schedule to attend classes at a specific facility. Online learning such as online doctoral nursing programs and doctor of nurse practitioner programs allow nurses to earn the next higher degree, even if there are no such programs in their immediate area. Internet technology allows nurses to attend online nursing programs in their desired specialty such as anesthesia or neonatal care that would otherwise require relocating somewhere to attend school.
Sonograms and Ultrasound
Sonograms and ultrasound systems give nurses the ability to look inside the patient without surgery. While they are commonly used for monitoring pregnancies, they can also be used to determine if the patient is suffering from kidney stones, gall stones or tumors. These imaging technologies have almost eliminated the need to do exploratory surgery.
From IV monitors to sphygmomanometer to ultrasounds, technology has evolved to give nurses better information with less effort on their part and greater comfort and control by the patient.