How Nurses Are Using Technology

From electronic medical records and patient self-tracking to informatics and minimally invasive procedures, healthcare is getting more and more high-tech. Here are some ways technology makes things better for patients, and nurses.

Technology is making medicine more efficient, and the more tools and gadgets that get developed, the more skilled medical professionals we need to operate them. If you consider yourself tech-savvy, you may want to consider specializing in one of these areas of nursing:
Informatics Nurse
Help develop medical technology and train other nurses on the latest systems.

Cardiac Care Nurse
Perform electrocardiogram monitoring, and treat patients with pacemakers and other heart health technology.

Cardiac Cath Lab Nurse
Work in state-of-the-art cardiac labs, helping implant pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibillators (ICDs).

Perioperative Nurse
Use the latest surgical systems to monitor patients and coordinate care in the operating room.

Plastic Surgery Nurse
Work with the most minimally invasive techniques, assisting procedures ranging from dermabrasion to facial reconstruction.

Dermatology Nurse
Help screen for skin cancer, treat burn victims, and perform post-surgery treatments using the latest in laser technology.

Radiology Nurse
Work with ultrasounds, MRIs, and the latest in radiation therapy.

Telemetry Nurse
Use the newest machines to monitor their patients’ vital signs.

Transplant Nurse
Use new organ preservation systems and help monitor patients for complications like organ rejection.

Nurse Anesthetist
Use apps and mobile technology to monitor patients during surgery and help with epidurals and other vein procedures.

Genetics Nurse
Use the latest software to analyze patients’ genes, helping assess their risk for diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

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Thank You Melorita (By: Joley @Jolly Thing B. Ugang)

This is to convey my gratitudes to MELORITA for giving me the opportunity to work and earn in Saudi Arabia (King Abdulaziz National Guard Hospital, Dammam) from June 2007 to Sept 2015. It has been a tremendous experience and opportunity to live and earn in the Middle East. I would have stayed there longer if not for the age restriction, or if I was working in a critical unit where it was more difficult to find replacements eventhough one would have reached the age limit. I shall forever be grateful to MELORITA for having selected and assistted me in having had the experience working in a multinational hospital overseas and most of all enabling me to realise the fulfillment of some of the dreams  in my life :)

Once again thank you so much MELORITA from the bottom of my heart. May God continue to bless each and everyone who is working at or affiliated with MELORITA.

Have a good day and Happy Holidays and best wishes for the coming new year, 2016.

Joley @Jolly Thing B. Ugang
(Kota Kinabalu, Sabah)

 

Critical care RNs play role in restoring speech among tracheostomy patients (Source: nurse.com)

Nurses can play a major role in the process of helping patients recover the ability to speak after tracheostomy, according to a recent report in the journal Critical Care Nurse. The report, titled “Restoring Speech to Tracheostomy Patients,” was published in the December issue.

Researchers note that although critical care nurses are in an ideal position to guide tracheostomy patients to phonate, they may not know about all the options available. Researchers examined methods of restoring speech in tracheostomy patients. Methods vary depending on whether the patient is spontaneously breathing, is being treated with intermittent mechanical ventilation or is ventilator dependent, according to the report.

Although communication commonly used by tracheostomy patients such as lipreading, writing, hand signals and picture boards may be helpful for expressing basic needs, they do not allow for the reciprocal style of conversation, researchers said. Lipreading, for example, is a specialized skill nurses may have difficulty mastering, the report said. Other gestures, such as coded eye blinking, hand gestures and nodding answers must have collaboration from both patients and nurses and require understanding by other caregivers who work with the patient to create consistency. Still, the authors note such gestures can be time consuming and affect the efficiency of caring for critically ill patients. A communication plan specific to the patient should be at his or her bedside and made available to everyone who interacts with the patient, the report stated.

Being able to create sound with a tracheostomy tube depends on having an adequate supply of air reach the vocal cords with a minimum of resistance, researchers wrote. The diameter, length and type of tracheostomy tube play roles in avoiding complications and in greater phonation success, the report stated. The method could be as simple as changing one or all of these components of the tube, resulting in less airway resistance and preventing respiratory distress and unsuccessful attempts at phonation.

Still, the authors write that prior to starting any attempts at phonation, assessing the patients’ physical and mental condition is crucial and can help decide which approach should be taken. The patient also should be able to communicate verbally and have intact cognitive function, the report states. Success depends on the patient’s ability to follow instructions and let nurses know about any difficulty with breathing or phonation.

An inability to communicate or actively participate in their plan of care can lead to depression among ICU patients, the report said. It also can cause patients to be disengaged from their recovery and to have non-adherence with their therapeutic plan.

“Many different methods can be used to restore phonation in patients who have a tracheostomy, and critical care nurses are the ideal members of the health care team to facilitate a planned and systematic approach to achieving phonation,” the authors concluded. “Coordination of the interdisciplinary team, which includes critical care nurses, respiratory therapists, speech pathologists, advanced practice nurses, and physicians, is essential to the goal of voice restoration. Early involvement of this team can improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction by reducing the time needed for phonation.”