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Nurses need to be tech-savvy

One of the hot topics in modern health care is the application of computers and information technology in nursing to patient care.

Over the last decade, there have been many technological advances in nursing. With the introduction of tablet PCs to mobile electronic charts, it’s safe to say that the nursing field is not what it used to be. Healthcare and the healthcare system are constantly evolving - becoming more advanced and efficient. Nurses and healthcare workers need to start embracing the change and keep up with the times.

While it may have been beneficial to learn how to use technology before 2020, it has become even more important for nurses to understand and use technological advancements to provide suitable patient care.


How nurses can benefit

Nurses that have the required technological skills are more likely to land a job compared to nurses who aren’t. Any hospital and organisation will look at the required skills and experience when hiring a new candidate. Even as nurses, keeping up with technology can prove beneficial and may be a contributing factor to obtaining your next job.

There’s no denying that technology has improved the nursing field significantly, which is why nurses should embrace technology rather than reject it. Tech-savvy nurses are in high demand to fill in the RN job positions. Computer technology plays a significant role in almost all aspects of nursing, with administration of drugs, monitoring patients’ progress and performing assessments. For nurses that are not computer literate, these skills can be acquired and worked on at any point in your career.

In today's medical institutions, nurses need to have a good grip of how computers are used in the nursing profession. In most cases, medical staff no longer need to decode doctor's orders and patient needs that were written on a bedside medical chart (Carol Luther, Chron 2018). Electronic health records help medical professionals communicate more efficiently by eliminating most misinterpretations of written and verbal orders, adds Carol.

By using computers, smartphones and tablets, nurses can create and manage electronic health records and update them, as needed.


You’re never too old to learn

Learning will always benefit you, no matter which industry you work in. The more skills you have, the better investment you are for any company or business. For those nurses who think they’re too old to learn about technology, you’re wrong - it is possible to develop these skills in just a few weeks with the required training. The key is to open your mind to change, to look at the benefits and evolve with the times.  

There may be nurses around you who need additional computer guidance outside of an EHR training. Offer assistance to those who are less computer-savvy and pass on knowledge to those who are still feeling their way around the computer. Recognising this gap, and playing your part is something that can benefit the entire field of nursing, which should be our first priority as tech users.


4 Tips to become more tech-savvy

How-to YouTube videos

YouTube is the easiest platform for learning about technology. There are a number of tutorials you can make use of for free. Just type your keywords into the search bar, along with ‘how to’ and you’ll be surprised at how many options and tutorials are available to you free of charge.

Pay to Play

You will most likely find what you are looking for on YouTube, but you may have a question that no one has answered yet. You can find professionally made videos in the Udemy marketplace. Here you can choose from instructional digital material to help learn the skills that you are looking for. The pricing and expertise may vary, so be sure to look at the testimonials and ratings to give you an idea of what to expect.

Join a community

Take the time to join an online or offline community where people exchange information and answer other people’s questions regarding certain topics. Like-minded people with similar interests are happy to help others learn and grow. You are also likely to meet people who can share other resources to improve your technological ability.

Just Do It!

One of the best ways of learning how to do something, is to just do it. Sit down and play around until you have figured out what goes where and what functions support one another. Practice makes perfect, and you will surely get the hang of it.

In summary

In modern nursing, and almost every filed, one of the prerequisites today is computer skills. This is because computer technology plays a significant role in almost all aspects of nursing – and in turn, improving patient care.