An informatics nurse has the responsibility of managing, interpreting and communicating to the rest of the staff important medical data about patients. This data will come from doctors’ offices, clinics and other medical facilities the patient has visited. Nursing informaticists must be skilled in computer science and well versed in information technology and nursing science. They are responsible for developing technology for analytics and storage and also for helping the medical facilities they work with optimize data for research.
A radiology nurse must be proficient in using different technologies, including ultrasound machines, MRI machines and other technologies associated with radiation therapy. They must be quick learners, because they are constantly exposed to new and innovative medical equipment as the technology surrounding cancer treatment evolves. In addition to having technical prowess, they are responsible for preparing their patients emotionally and mentally to undergo radiation procedures.
General Registered Nurse
It's not just in specialized fields of nursing that we are seeing technological growth. The basic medical instruments that nurses use are getting smarter and require technological know-how. An example of this is the bandages that are currently being used for heart patients. These have built-in sensors that monitor a patient’s vital signs. RNs now have the responsibility of tracking the information that these bandages and other smart medical tools provide. In addition to collecting this information, they need to disseminate it to doctors as well as interact with technology developers, providing feedback on how to improve the quality and effectiveness of these tools.
The medical field is experiencing a revolution in technology that will continue over the next decades. Much of this revolution involves increasing use of smartphones in providing care. New software is currently being designed to allow nurses to use their smartphone in lieu of pagers, alert systems and badges. Smartphones are also allowing nurses to engage in secure clinician-to-clinician texting as well as transferring a patient's information to all members of the care team.
In the near future, nurses will be able to use their smartphones to show patients videos to improve their health. Interactive patient care tools will present healthcare plans that are adapted to the specific needs of the patient. These devices will help their patients understand medical management as well as other important components of their care. It will also help patients engage their families more fully in the healthcare process.
The Importance of IT Education for Nurses
Technology is changing the role that nurses play within the medical community. Increasingly, having an IT background is becoming a must for nurses. Nurses who have an IT background have the advantage of being able to walk into a medical facility and use new technologies or follow clinical guidelines as they were intended by the developers of the technology. This allows the nurses to benefit from these innovations as well as improves the quality of nursing care.
As the demand for nurses with an IT background increases, so does the compensation they receive. This shift in focus has led many experienced nurses to return to school to receive additional education in computer science and information technology.