Nursing is a noble profession centered on the human caring, a phenomenon that is highly agitated for by the caring theory. In the appreciation of this call and demand, a significant amount of leadership in the field of nursing is concerned with the high rate, at which the technology is integrated into the process of availing the services at the centers of nursing, particularly the caring aspect of it. The worry is that the discipline risks losing its fundamental role, that of availing the human touch in the healing process. The agitation is that there is the need to strike a balance between the integration of technology and the human contact between the nurse and the patients. In staying faithful to this call, this paper aims at providing insights on how well the computer technology can be integrated into the field of nursing without risking the loss of human caring in the healing process.
It is evident that the general take in the field of medicine is that technology has come in to minimize the element of human error in the delivery of health care services. Technology is viewed as an aid that should work in a complementary manner to the human effort. However, some reservation still exists on how the application of technology has enhanced health care delivery with some analysts arguing that it presents both the solution and the problem to the nursing field. On the positive side, the integration of technology has led to an improved accuracy level in term of precision when it comes to a diagnosis. With just a click of a button, it is now possible to analyze the patients and identify the area that needs medical attention. The timeliness of health care delivery has also been improved through quick analysis aided by the use of technology. On the other hand, the same technology has reduced the nurses to mere puppets who take a more passive role in health care delivery.
Nurses are now more reliant on the feedback given by the computers after they have analyzed the situation at hand via the commands given. This is a phenomenon that some people are not comfortable with. In some instances, medical errors are caused as the result of the nurses relying more on the feedback given by the computers rather than their instinct based on their training. Sometimes, machines may suffer an internal breakdown and deliver incorrect data, and if acted upon without counter-checking with human observation, a medical error becomes eminent. Moreover, the founders of literature in the field of nursing intentionally demonstrate that nursing is centered on the humanistic approach where a nurse provides the needed services in a caring way, a trait that can only be availed by a human to another human being. This is the reason why researchers call for the right balance between the integration of computer technology and the human competent in nursing care. It is the assertion that the introduction of computer technology in the field of nursing care has been highly fueled by the need to enhance accuracy, but the intention now seems target the elimination of human input. This phenomenon makes nursing lose its active role when it comes to availing the different relevant help in the healing process.
There is a general agreement among the researchers that computer technology is and will remain a critical component in nursing in the line of minimizing human error and improving the efficiency of nursing care. However, there is a prominent need to ensure that both the nurse and the computer technology work in a complementary manner and not in a substitutive way. Moreover, there is an agreement that the human touch in the healing process remains a vital component that needs to be upheld despite the high absorption of technology in the field of nursing. Through this close association, the nursing science and technology science will ensure that technology in nursing yields the desired result, that of enhancing the role of humans as they avail care-centered help to their ailing brothers and sisters.
Interview Response by Five Nurses in Baptist Hospital in Miami
How is Technology and the Use of Computers in Your Work Setting Impacting Your Nursing Practice?
The nurses had mixed response to the impact the technology had in their role as nursing. On one side, it provided a reference point where useful information was availed to them when making crucial decisions in treatment. On the other hand, it was a common take that the technology sometimes made them feel inferior because of overreliance on the technology output in the process of treatment. Sarah, who works in the ICU, pointed out that technology is good, but overreliance presents a huge challenge because as a nurse, you feel more like an observer rather than the nurse. However, it is good to point out that there a common agreement that computer technology remains a critical tool in the healing process, particularly in the Intensive Care Unit.
Is Computerized Documentation Influencing Your Ability to be Authentically Present with Patients in either a Negative or Positive Way? How?
The response from the nurses was that the electronic documentation was a helpful tool that helped them access patients information quickly. They also indicated that it presented a better option to the older hardcopy sheets that were cumbersome and heavy to carry around. However, what they viewed a threat to their authentic presence to the patients was in the cases where the electronic documentation was advanced to indicate the care process that needed to be taken in addition to the communication that the nurse should inform the patient. James mentioned that we as nurses are supposed to be the drivers in the healing process and not the technology. Moreover, in support of James take, John argued that This is going beyond my tolerance levels since in my view, my training is good enough to read and understand the content of the electronic sources, which will allow coming up with relevant actions and communications.
Basing on Your Experiences, what Changes would You Suggest to Create an Environment where You could be more Present and Caring for Your Patients?
The nurses have pointed that there is the need to promote a balance between the technology and the role of nurses in the treatment process. Agnes said, I feel we need to have a healthy exchange between the management and the nurses so that we could come up with a policy that helps maintain a rational balance between the technology input and he nurses input in the healing process. There is also a consensus that in the spirit of upholding the human caring component in nursing, there is the need in some instances to have clear guidelines on situations where computer technology is to be dominant and where the nurses play a more prominent role. Moses on his part pointed out that, There is a need to ensure nurses are heavily involved when technological policies are formulated to minimize elements that sometimes make nurses feel inferior. Therefore, the nurses have indicated that technology should be the helping hand to the nurses and not vice versa. They demanded the use of technology in an objective manner in the line of upholding the crucial role of human touch and care in the process of treatment.
Summary and Recommendations
Through the literature review and insights provided by the active nurses, it is clear that the introduction of technology and, particularly computer technology is a game changer in the field of nursing. Through its inception, nurses are now able to handle a bigger workload, come up to with the more accurate diagnoses based on quick and accurate data. Technology has actively played a vital role in bridging the gap that brought about the human error in the treatment process. In working hand in hand with the nurse in the treatment process, the computer technology has brought to a reference point to nurses when there is need to verify a particular issue. The result of its integration has been a continuous improvement in the quality of health care services that the patients receive. These are clear examples of how important the technology is and remains to be in the world of nursing. However, there are credible worries that unhealthy integration of the technology has been a threat to the human caring component in nursing. Nurses feel that they have been sidelined by the technology even in the areas where they feel they can play a more active role. What makes nursing a unique discipline is the ‘caring factor’, a phenomenon that many experts in the field of nursing agree that it can only be availed by nurses and not by any form of technology. It is this rational assertion that brings forth the need to ensure that the intention of integrating technology in nursing is not to minimize the role of nurses but to improve the accuracy of their role.
The analysis provides many insights from different angles on how computer technology has affected service delivery in the field of nursing. It role is not only helpful but also lifesaving through m