Working as a nurse is one of the critical jobs in the health industry because it involves caring for the patients and ensuring that they appropriately recover from medical procedures. However, diversity and improvement in technology is causing dynamics to this job. For instance, recently, my friend Tomika has considered a move from classical nursing practice to telenursing, a move that seems interesting as she disclosed to me. Having deliberated about this new frontier in nursing profession, I am compelled to do some research about what exactly Tomika is getting herself into. Though currently I work as a hospice nurse, we use Electronic Health Recording system (EHR) to manage and care for our patients. My career ambition is more of consultancy as I would want it to be, I am also looking forward to make use of new technology to better provide the health services, hence, Tomika’s case is a challenging, but interesting as it may be discovered. Thus I deided to carryout a research on telenursing and telehealth as a whole by reviewing articles, books, and also engaging in practical research to find out whether it is a rational move to make like Tamika has done. Therefore, this research paper, therefore, is a critical inquiry of this concept and its significance in medical service delivery against the nursing profession.
Telenursing may be defined as the adoption of the telemedicine technology to assist in post-hospital nursing through remote nursing care. Through this method, an assigned nurse can be able to monitor the patients’ health improvement at their homes, collect real-time data, advise the patients' on their conditions and even converse with them in video teleconferencing to assess them . Telenursing is an integral component of the larger telemedicine that was initially adopted by the institute of medicine. From experience, of medical practice, I have realized that there is the need to exchange real data information from the field to assist the patients with advice on services such as first aid procedures before they attend a medical examination. Though currently as an organization, he have not adopted the full program but the experience with EHR, this service system is more advance and may be a big economic approach to healthcare. Telenursing as an innovation was as a result of casualties amounting from simple and preventable deaths caused by ignorance, and lack of information from an expert.
Peck in his article, Changing the face of standard nursing practice through telehealth and telenursing affirms that patient satisfaction is one of the reasons why technology has continued to evolve around medical service delivery . The need to guarantee the privacy of the patients' health data has also gained emphasis in the recent times due to manipulations experienced in the past due to the use of obsolete and inefficient technology in medical management information systems (MIS). Patients’ education is also important because it assist them in ensuring that they keep updated with new technologies in hospital equipment and simple procedures, for example, measuring the body temperatures, blood pressure, reading real-time data and communicating it remotely to the attached nurse.Ethical concerns are all also factors that the medical engineers have considered in the process of developing the new technology, for instance, the accountability of the nurses in ensuring that the respect and integrity are maintained during remote service delivery . Moreover, telenursing is also ensuring that the privacy of the information of the patients’ is kept safe by the nurse and not for any reasons beyond medical use.
To find out more on the sustainability of Tamika’s scenario, I read an excerpt of the medical report done at Mercy Health Centre in Texas. The centre’s report estimated that one nurse can serve approximately 425 patients per year. This is one scenario where telehealth as a whole program can be more cost effective, time efficient and ensure a high-quality standard of care . In the study done in 2005, about the impact of telehealth program on diabetes patients revealed that each patient saved at least $747 per year from the program.Moreover, readmissions were reduced by 32% in that year; besides, emergency encounters at the hospital among the diabetes patients were reduced by 34% and more interestingly, the post-discharge care was reduced by approximately 44% from the previous year. Therefore, from this analysis of the telenursing diabetes care, it is more logical to conclude that telenursing is helping the patients' save time, money and does not compromise on service quality.
Medicine as a field, does not only deal with paties, but rather a wide field od experts. Therefore my next inquiry was to find out how this program would benefit other stakeholders. Bohnenkamp and his fellow researcher confirm this fact in their 2004 study on their cancer patients’ remote nursing assessment. For instance, the hospital itself benefits through reduction of the patient jam regarding new admissions, they are also able to make frequent discharges and put the patients in the remote telenursing program. This strategy translates into more money for the hospital. On the other hand, nurses gain through time saving, engaging in more flexible schedules hence reduced work pressure, and furthermore, they get time to spend at home with their families . Furthermore, the nurses are also able to make more money by more consulting opportunities available. Besides, more room for engagement in other part-time jobs is available with the nurses including sporting activities and holidays. In a technological approach, the market for the medical equipment suppliers also expands and results in more money generation and creativity in medical discipline, this is, therefore, an investment opportunity to explore.
Apart from the many advantages of telenursing, I was compelled to study any complications that may cause inefficiency to the service delivery within the telenursing system approach. For instance, the equipment installation is expensive and may take a significant amount of resources. Besides, the patients’ need to be educated about using the equipment, this process may take quite a long time since many may not have enough energy to use them in the sickness.A study done by Li alongside his counterparts reveal that mortality rates may increase because discharge may be done prematurely due to desire to make more money by the hospital management.In situations where the nurse needs to attend physically to the patients while far away in remote locations may lead to delays and subsequent loss of lives due to lack of assistance. Therefore, if the program is not controlled, there may be more losses of lives than the presumed saves.
Indeed, Tamika has a critical interpretation of what the future of Telenursing, reading from all the facts I have gathered in this study. Moreover, it is transforming the patient nursing relationship; expanding the market niche for technology development as well as more income for hospitals. Most importantly it will save nurses a great deal of maual work and patients’ congestion in hospitals. Again they will have more time for their families as opposed to the current situation. Further, the nursing profession which for a long time has been more of classical responsibility will involve more than just post treatment but more medical competence will be required. Roles like health advocacy, patient education will fall under telenursing; the training to nursing profession will be an expansive field with much technological emphasis to benefit the patients. Hence, I agree that this move will benefit Tamika in defining her career in relation to the future of medical technology.
Findings and Recommendation
The rate at which telehealth is changing has a direct influence on nursing profession which is shifting for the better, and furthermore, service delivery is becoming more efficient. Besides, as a hospice nurse, I totally agree that this is an excellent opportunity to upgrade towards my career ambition. Hence, I am considering this as an opening for prosperity and will definitely apply for a chance to work alongside Tamika.
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