While Nursing Informatics has been a vital part of the field of nursing for years, the advances in treatments, therapies and diagnostics has led to more hospitals, clinics and medical facilities integrating informatics technologies within all nursing concentrations. From Electronic Health Records (EHR’s) to the use of hand-held devices at a patient’s bedside, technology is as much a part of nursing today as biology and pharmacology. Nursing school students are not only learning the science of nursing, but are also being trained to use various databases and reference books to help assist in the diagnosis, treatment and preventative care methods needed to help patients.
Many hospitals and medical facilities have integrated EHR’s into the procedures of patient care, allowing nurses and physicians the ability to access a patient’s information quickly and easily through laptops and other mobile devices. These records keep track of a patient’s history, as well as help with any issues with drug interactions, treatment options and can even suggest various diagnostic tests. Smartphones and mobile devices like tablets are enabling quick access to this information, saving time, money and helping to eliminate many medical issues that may be overlooked while sorting through a patient’s medical record on paper. Because of the growing reliance on these EHR’s, nursing schools are also implementing instruction on the use of the devices, as well as the best sources for information outside of patient records.
As computers and technology continue to permeate the field of medicine and nursing, there is a growing need for nurses who can understand and implement it within patient care. From EHR’s to tablets to virtual reality simulations in nursing school, technology is becoming as much a part of nursing and nursing school as the curriculum itself.