There is nothing constant in this world except change, as changes will always be inevitable in struggle for life’s greatest survival. Health care system adapt to the changing needs of the society. The new electronic era brings greater challenges as well as myriad opportunities for nursing profession and the academe responsible in shaping the next generation of nurses. Technological innovation has moved into a wide space with great impact on nursing profession and education which has driven the pursuit for the improvement of health care delivery system.
Electronic revolution has already had a drastic impact on health care delivery, nursing profession and the education of nurses. Modernization paved way for the changes in scope of nursing practice widening the range of skills and boundaries for nursing roles which have been signified by the terms of role development, role extension and role expansion. Scope changes are beneficial in adapting the needs of the society for accessibility of health care, mobility, cost-effective care, reduce waiting time, improvement of quality health care delivered to clients and maintain health among specific groups. In terms of health care delivery, as expanding role of the nurses, electronic data of hospital information management system made a lot of improvement in terms of easy and accessibility of clinical data from primary health care to tertiary levels. The e-data of medical record had replaced traditional documentation system. Advance electronic system will open a new door for the new fields in health care like telemedicine and tele-health which will brings the patient and health care provider together without physical proximity. Electronic commerce is now trending over the net for transacting health care services and products thus increasing availability for health information.
Globalization arises from rapid increase of global relationships of culture, people and professional activity to maintain equilibrium between supply and demand as far as medical workforce is concerned. Globalization requires globally competitive nurses. Nurses of this generation should be competent and more internationally motivated from the benefits of multicultural experience.
The need for continuing professional education is essential to be a globally competitive health care provider. Distance education and e-learning program offer a lot of opportunities for the e-learner who can study on their own pace and space. On-line education and distance learning program offers a wide variety of options, potentials and chances for more accessible continuing professional education linking students and faculty from different locales. Nurses from the new e-Era need to be skilled in computer and information technology. In a nutshell, it is imperative for a new DE student — who has been used to the conventional method of education — to have a crucial change in self-concept and accept the new reality of DE program, and in the process become self-determining in life which will be a great motivation for an e-Nurse accepting globalization challenges.
Nurses should be fully equipped with skills, knowledge and attitude in meeting today’s challenges and be ready to dare the future. It is imperative for the nurse to project and visualize what will happen next — to be prepared in providing the demands of the rapidly changing patient’s demographic and increasing diversity. People should learn from all of the experiences in the past and be determine in cultivating one’s way for the betterment of the future, same as in the medical field — we should never be stagnant nor be contented on what we have or what we can give — great minds have the power to change everything. Nurses don’t need to be clairvoyant to predict the future but nursing research can help us to improve and/or prevent what lies ahead. Nursing research delivers a scientific basis for patient care thus, inculcating a scientific method in the promotion of health and well-being and refining patient outcomes for all groups of the population.
Technological explosion, escalating clinical intricacy, medical advancement, breakthrough on treatment modalities and advent of new diseases contribute to the necessity for robust critical thinking, dynamic decision making and lifelong learning among professionals and future nurses of the 21st century. Timeworn nursing image should be revitalized into a modern perspective. The perpetuity of emerging demands has called nursing institutions to broaden their core. Nursing educators should take the opportunity to reflect critically on the nature of nursing instruction and its capacity to meet these challenges. Academe should evolve into a greater degree for the promotion of optimal learning experience and provide quality education in shaping the future nurses.
Technology doesn’t mean immunity from human and system error, in fact, sole reliance to the advancement of technology creates greater susceptibility in jeopardizing the culture of patient safety. Equilibrium in both human and system aspects are the prerequisites for safe delivery of care. Creating a culture of patient safety is not solely depends on perfecting the technical work of an individual. Nonetheless, it involves the need for the coordinated efforts from the members of the health care team and not only working under the shadow of technology. Allocation of adequate resources from both human and system aspects is crucial for the sustainability and institutionalization of quality assurance.
Positive practice environment is correlated with inordinate impact on the two national health crises — the nursing shortage and patient safety. Though technology has improved the working condition for nurses, the incalculable effect of working environment should never be marginalized. Nursing practice is not utterly dependent on technology alone. Nurses work inside an environment with a multidimensional facet. A positive practice environment permits nurses to practice to their full potentials thus, enhancing job satisfaction and quality of care rendered to patients.
Nursing has evolved significantly with changes driven by rapid advances in technology leading to the development of nursing informatics as an emerging field of study. Increasing specialization of knowledge obliged nurses to have access on the latest scientific information technology which aids in the delivery of quality care. Acquisition of skills and proper training are imperative to prevent both human error and system error. Human beings are the creator and operator of these innovations and nurses are not like the machine we operated. Unlike computers we human don’t have undo function; nurses don’t have any room for errors because we are handling life. Nursing remains as the backbone of health care delivery through the years. In a greater standpoint, the future of the health care system depends on nursing and its accurate application of technology.
Technological progress has merely provided us with accessibility, mobility and more efficient means in improving the working condition of nurses. Technology is only an inch part of the multidimensional aspect of the nursing profession. Full dependence to this innovation may lose the genuine distinction of nurses in the system.
“The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers” ~Sydney J. Harris.
Nurses may work with computers and highly innovated machines but the real value of nursing should never be undermined. Absence of health care providers at bedside with voluminous equipment alarming every minute is dehumanizing. Patients are vulnerable human beings not a machine. Time can never phase out the significance of nurses in the field of caring. No inventions can ever replace the healing power of human touch and the service with a great smile — the real meaning of nursing where healing perspective is all about.