Is It My Future?

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Telenursing: Is It in My Future?
Computers, smartphones and even televisions are continually changing with the advancement of technology, this is also true in healthcare. Imagine sitting in front of your computer screen, smartphone or smart t.v. and being able to have a face to face conversation with a home health nurse or other health care provider. In some regions of the country this is the here and now, in others it is slowly being implemented into routine healthcare. This type of healthcare is known as telenursing. The term telenursing means “the use of telecommunications and IT for the delivery of nursing services.” (Hebda & Czar, 2013, p. 506). There is also the term telehealth that is used in conjunction with telenursing and
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This can be a disadvantage for both patient and nurse. There is also the question of privacy for both the patient and the nurse, for example, how secure are the systems that are being used? And what about physical contact from the patient and the nursing perspective, what happens when that physical presence is taken away? “Research demonstrates the value of human touch in caring, especially in specific populations” (Demiris, Doorenbos, & Towle, 2009, p. 133). Through telenursing, nurses have the advantages of seeing multiple patients in a day. The nurse has information at his or her fingertips regarding patient information. Let’s take the time to examine these advantages and disadvantage in more detail.
Healthcare at a distance “via homebased monitoring applications, sensor-based systems that detect emergencies or prevent adverse events, and telehealth solutions that bridge geographical distance and increase access to services,”(Demiris et al., 2009, p. 128). They can chat with a nurse via phone or teleconference, their vital signs and weight can be monitored and sent via electronic links, they can even wear a device that can send an ECG directly to their primary care provider. This is an advantage for the patient and for the nurse. The patient’s information is right at her fingertips and she can see their most current vital signs before she even contacts the patient for their “virtual visit”. So imagine as the nurse that a teleconference call is
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