Computers for Nurses Made Easy Karanbir Singh
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1Computers for Nurses Made Easy2
3Computers for Nurses Made Easy
Karanbir Singh Army Institute of Technology, Pune E-mail:
4Published by
Jitendar P Vij
Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd
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Computers For Nurses Made Easy
© 2007, Karanbir Singh
All rights reserved. No part of this publication and CD ROM should be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means: electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author and the publisher.
First Edition: 2007
Typeset at JPBMP typesetting unit
Printed at Ajanta Offset
Professionalization for nurses involves the building of a strong foundation in nursing knowledge which is established, maintained, and constantly renewed through an ongoing program of research. With this knowledge the nursing profession can develop a theoretical basis for standards of practice which help clarify nursing roles and responsibilities
“The use of computers in health care is no longer a question for discussion and debate. Their application in nursing is a reality and is the need of the hour …”. With this statement, I propose to present a concise overview of the use of computers in nursing practice. The primary applications of computers are in the support of nursing documentation, patient care planning, and patient monitoring.
Nurses must spend a considerable amount of time documenting the care they are giving to their patients. In non-computerized environments, this involves writing the nursing notes in longhand. These notes report on the treatments, medications, procedures, diagnostic tests, and other components of the patient's health and activity over a certain period of time. In computerized environments, the documentation process can be automated through the use of standard reporting forms and checklists that allow the nurse to use various computer interface modalities to quickly enter the information concerning the patient. Menus, windows, pointing devices, or cursor keys can be used to select standard items from lists, while specific data (such as numeric values) can be entered via a keyboard. This automated documentation process not only saves time, but it also increases the accuracy of patient information and makes it more readily accessible for diagnostic or statistical analysis.
Computerized patient care planning can be implemented in a manner similar to the documentation process. Since standard lists of nursing diagnoses and interventions for particular patient problems have been prepared for almost all areas of nursing, it is not too great a leap to present these items via computer so that they can be selected and associated with particular patients.
Another big area of computer application in health care with major implications for nursing functions is patient monitoring. Dedicated computer controlled devices have been utilized for bedside monitoring of electro-cardiogram, heart and breathing rate, temperature, and various other vital physiological parameters for over 10 years. Presently these systems are becoming much more sophisticated and they are being integrated with the automated record keeping. In this way, the monitored status of the patient becomes associated with the nursing and medical records entered by members of the health care team. In addition to this, automatic posting of laboratory test results keeps the record current and further reduces nursing paper work (previously, lab reports would pile up on the desk until filed away in the patient's chart). In all, this automated and integrated patient record becomes a powerful tool for patient monitoring, record keeping, ongoing assessment, and evaluation.
In terms of more advanced applications for nursing practice, there are mentions of decision support systems in reference to possible applications of artificial intelligence. It is suggested that data collected by nurses in the process of assessing or monitoring the patient could be entered at bedside computer terminals and quickly processed by expert decision support systems to provide a more individualized set of possibilities for inclusion in the nursing care plan.
Informatics competencies include computer and information literacy skills as well as overall informatics activities. Computer literacy skills allow for the use of computer technology to accomplish tasks, such as using a word processor, database and 7spreadsheet or an application to document patient care or to communicate by e-mail. Information literacy is focused primarily on information access and evaluation. These skills enable an individual to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use that information appropriately. Overall informatics activities may include using informatics applications designed for the practice of nursing.
It is hoped that this book proves to be useful in getting rid of any ‘computer phobia’ that the reader might have whatsoever. The language has been kept simple. Care has been taken not to overwhelm the reader with too much information in one sentence.
The chapters have been arranged in a fashion so as to make the understanding of the subject simple and progressive.
Lastly, in an effort of this kind, it is inevitable that some errors creep in. Necessary care has been taken to minimize the number of errors. Nevertheless, scope for further improvements remains and the author welcomes any suggestions to this end from teachers and students.
Karanbir Singh8
Course Description
This course is designed to help students gain a basic understanding of the computers in order to utilize this in rendering effective nursing care in different settings.
General Objectives
Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to: