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Technologys Effect in Nursing Education

Nydia Griffiths

RWS 1302

Alison Zepeda
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Abstract

In the 21st century, technology is a huge part of all aspects of life from having a

smartphone to technological advancements in medicine. Technology has affected the healthcare

profession immensely and nurses utilize and handle a great amount of technology when working.

With these technological advancements, the educators in nursing must change how they teach. In

this essay, these questions will be answered: What technology is being used in the nursing field?

What technology is being used in nursing education and how it affects teaching? What barriers

and challenges occur when using technology in the classroom? and What successes occur when

using technology in the classroom? The changing landscape of patient care, driven by practice-

driven technologies, and virtual health care, provides a unique context for teaching and learning.

Incorporating technology improves active teaching strategies and evaluation of learning

outcomes.
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Technological advancements will continue to progress rapidly, and be the norm in health

care rather than the exception. Hospitals are now high-tech environments, where electronic

health records (EHR) have opened the doors for new emerging technologies. Much of the past

thirty years of technological expansion were spent on computer programs for administrative

purposes while the past decade has seen as emphasis on the clinical process. Technological

development in clinical applications is the current trend in healthcare and it will continue to play

a major role for years to come. The primary focus in the development of new concepts and ideas

is patient care. Healthcare settings now integrate electronic medication prescribing, tele-health,

online appointment scheduling and mobile laboratories where informatics nurses are essential in

guaranteeing that the computerized solutions interface with each other (HIMSS, 2014).

Technology and Nurses

Nursing, has benefitted from these new concepts and continues to find newer and better

methods to improve patient care. The nurses role in patient care has evolved with the use of

technology to improve health care delivery. With new nursing technology it has changed, the

way nurses work, and it continues to advance along with the roles that nurses play. Technology

in the nursing world has increased patient satisfaction and overall outcomes, reduced errors and

decreased the amount of paperwork.

An extremely well known technological advancement is the electronic patient record. It

has become a great aspect in information workflow and communication. Information systems are

designed for nurses, so documentation can be best utilized to expand their knowledge of quality

of care. It has result in improving patient outcomes and efficiency. In nursing, documentation is

vital to inform the patients healthcare team about the patient's condition and organizing their
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care according to the patient's needs. Before the digital age, nurses only utilized paper forms to

document important information. If they needed information, they would have to look through

the entire chart to find what they need and even then, sometimes forms were misplaced.

Electronic documentation contains flow sheets that help in assembling information about the

patient's needs, improve the patient's information accuracy, and enhance the quality of patient

care. The electronic documentation method has evolved to provide a plan of care for patients,

efficient communication between clinicians, and direct patient care processes. (HIMSS, 2014).

Other technological advancements include the equipment that nurses use daily this

includes lifts, beds, and identification systems used. With these technological advancements they

aid nurses to use less work, essentially making it safer and efficient to work while still providing

the best possible care. Electronic lift systems are operated by remote control have greatly

reduced injury and stress for both patients and nurses when moving the patients. Smart beds use

remote controls to lift and lower the bed as well as relieving pressure points on bed bound

patients. Patient and staff identifiers in the hospital setting have become increasingly important

considering patient medication mix-ups (errors) and unauthorized people entering a facility or

accessing patient records. Bar codes, wristbands and radio frequency identification (RFID), all

work to track and identify patients to reduce errors while also keeping the hospital safe. In some

hospitals, they are using new palm vein technology to identify the patients in outpatient clinics

provided to cut down on unauthorized access.

In hospitals, it has been observed that patient education is a major concern and want to

implement better education for patients and their families. The importance of patient education is

an example of critical study and evidence based practice by nurses that has shown that
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knowledge, on the part of patients and their families, can reduce re-admission rates, decrease

healing time, improve mental discomfort, and produce better patient results (Sullivan, 2015).

Today, patients are educated with the help of technology including modern televisions, I-pads

and other sophisticated electronic devices where the patient can watch, learn and explore their

illnesses and care. Traditional patient education relied on written material about disease

processes, medication, medical management, and self-care instruction guidelines. Some

drawbacks with written materials is not all patients know how to read, let alone read long

pamphlets. Today, patients benefit from many forms of education and with all these forms of

education nurses can provide patients with knowledge that enables them to understand the

disease process and make important decisions about their health.

Technology in Nursing Education including Barriers and Successes

As the largest of the health care professional groups, nurses spend the most direct time

with patients: conducting bedside monitoring, assisting and teaching patients, providing primary

care, and consequently they are the field of healthcare which most needs to change and integrate

relevant information technology skills. To meet the new expectations of the nursing workforce,

nursing education must upgrade with the integration of information technology. Today, in the

digital age, nursing educators are committed to prepare future nurses for the information

technology-rich workplace, and help them reduce the shock reality upon arriving at the clinical

setting. Nursing students may have access to online education, live and web-based simulations,

apps, reference guides, and electronic textbooks on mobile devices.

By applying the latest developments in learning science including adaptive

technologies, machine learning and artificial intelligence information providers like Elsevier
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are giving nursing schools tools that help nurse educators and their students achieve better

outcomes on their high-stakes tests, the ones used to certify new nurses and make sure they are

ready for practice. (Capot, 2017).

Perhaps one of the biggest changes brought by technology is the availability of online

degree programs. These programs offer convenience and flexibility that can allow more people

to pursue a degree. A working nurse can complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and

even a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) without having to move and find a new job.

Online education operates through a Learning Management System (LMS). These software

programs handle all facets of the e-learning process, including delivering content, handling

registration for courses, and tracking and reporting. Nursing schools can choose from several

different systems, each offering different features and benefits. The only con about online

nursing programs is they lack the hands-on experience required for interactions with patients and

often graduates of these programs are wholly unprepared for a hospital setting.

Another use of technology in nursing education is simulations with electronic, training

mannequins. Nursing instructors can program the mannequins to mimic scenarios nurses might

see in clinical practice. Students can take vital signs and make decisions based on the

mannequins symptoms. It is a safe environment where students can practice their critical

thinking and decision-making skills, knowing the mannequin will not stay dead if it dies,

according to an article at Advance for Nurses.

Several aspects of simulation technology suggest it is ideal for nursing education,

especially for undergraduates. Many nursing students say they learn best when they do

something on a real patient, which indicates that most students prefer experiential learning. In
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the clinical setting, not all students are able to experience different scenarios due to greater

number of students, shorter stay of patients, higher patient acuity, nursing staff shortages, and

greater consequences with medical errors. Simulation technology offers many advantages for

nursing education which include active learning, specific and unique patient situations can be

presented, errors can be corrected and discussed immediately, and there are consistent and

comparable experiences can occur for all students. In addition to these benefits, communication,

teamwork, and delegation can be simulated. Thus, a mix of technical and non-technical

experiences can be offered.

Although nurse educators strive to mimic reality in their practice laboratories, they find

that nursing students often do not make the imaginative leap required to visualize a dummy

model as a real patient. Consequently, students frequently have trouble making the transition

from the learning laboratory to the real patient setting. To better facilitate this transition, nursing

learning centers have recently begun moving from static, plastic models to costly, interactive,

computerized models. However, it is not uncommon that, following the purchase of this

equipment, the teaching style goes unchanged, the equipment is underused, and its potential

remains unrealized (Medley, 2005). There is also a tension between simulation technology and

learning to care. This causes nursing educators to devise increasingly divergent strategies to

addresses this problem (Ireland, 2016).

While mannequins require a physical presence, online virtual realities can simulate

patients as well. Using screen-based simulation such as serious gaming, a nursing student can

respond to simulated patients in real-time using the appropriate tools and procedures. Companies
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make virtual simulation software to help educate nurses and other healthcare professionals like

the flight simulation software that helps train aircraft pilots.

The emerging use of game-based learning has the same benefits of learning in a

simulated environment. However, games have the advantage of providing much more complex

scenarios than are possible in laboratory simulation exercises, according to a Medscape article.

In games, the learner can travel down an infinite number of paths that have been determined

through the rules integrated into the game engine. (Stokowski, 2013).

The use of mobile technology in nursing gives students (and working nurses) instant

access to drug references, diagnoses, medical textbooks and more using apps and online guides

on smartphones and tablets. These devices are becoming more important in the health care

environment with an advantage of providing a compendium of drug, nursing procedures and

treatments, and disease information to nursing students. (Black, 2015).

Several articles also showed that integration of mobile technologies in nursing curricula

allowed students to actively participate in different learning contexts and reinforce what they

have learnt at any time or any location. Personal mobile devices such as smartphones can be used

for immediate and constant access to information or materials, current evidence and guidelines in

academic and clinical settings. An advantage of mobile technology is students could view

instructional videos before performing clinical tasks and timely approach their instructor via text

message.

In the Journal article, An integrative review of the impact of mobile technologies used by

healthcare professionals to support education and practice, the findings suggest a largely
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positive influence of mobile technologies on various clinical practice and educational outcomes.

As well as the use of mobile technologies in health care are associated with improvements in

access to information, accuracy and efficiency, evidence-based decision making at the point of

care and enhancement in performance, confidence and engagement in different contexts (Guo,

2015). One of the main problems with mobile technology is concerns over confidentiality of

ones private information. Confidentiality information on mobile technology is limited by

requiring passwords. Anyone can potentially tap into ones phone on accident which could

potentially lead to many problems.

With every advancement in technology there are barriers and challenges that come with

it. Axley suggested that some of the challenges encountered in attempts to integrate technology

into the classroom were due in part to the lack of actual research conducted among faculty

members who had access to technological tools that could be used in the classroom setting. From

a faculty perspective, the biggest problem with using technology for teaching is reliability. This

includes software incompatible with office and home, mistakes by support services, software

malfunctions, slow Internet access, and out-of-date software. The second biggest concern

reported was the time it takes to learn to use new technologies and the cost of how much

workshops would be. A third barrier is the concern that technology might not really be critical

for learning. Many faculty wonder whether it is worth their effort to learn many of the available

technologies, given the skepticism that those technologies facilitate learning in higher education

(Axley, 2008).
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Conclusion

Use of technology in nursing education has significantly changed teaching strategies and

will continue to challenge nurse educators in the years ahead. The digital age is here to stay, and

the rapid growth of the digital age will continue. Developing the needed fluency with technology

should not be fought with frustration. Faculty development is crucial, and needs be a continuing

focus for nursing education administrators and faculty alike both to enhance student learning and

retain faculty. Technology also has the power to transform teaching by ushering in a new model

of connected teaching, according to the U.S. Department of Education. This model links

teacher to their students and to professional content, resources, and systems to help them

improve their own instruction and personalize learning. Nursing programs vary in the type of

technology they use, and they introduce new technology almost daily. No doubt the future will

bring more technological ways to enhance the educational process for nurses while also

improving patient safety.


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Works Cited

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