Tips for Nurses Adapting to Technology
Can you imagine providing patient care without having a stethoscope around your neck or in your pocket? I didn’t think so, but when the stethoscope was introduced in the early 1800’s clinicians rebuked it as being too invasive and against typical practices. Today’s technological advances are happening so rapidly and frequent that it is like the introduction of the stethoscope on steroids! Let’s take a look at how nurses can adapt to the healthcare technology explosion.
- Keep your focus on patient care. Sometimes when we are learning to use new technologies, we lose ourselves in the moment and bury our head until we figure it out. That works fine when you are at home trying to figure out how to change the ringtone on your new smartphone, but not so much when you are caring for patients. If it isn’t something that you can figure out in a few seconds, you are better off asking a colleague for help. Then, once your patient has been taken care of, make sure you request additional training or ask your fellow nurse to give you a quick refresher.
- Speak up. As new technologies and procedures are implemented in healthcare, not everyone is going to have equal ability to master the changes. One way you can be proactive is to speak up when you feel like you have a good grasp of the new procedure. Offer to share your knowledge with others who may be struggling with the changes. Another way to help the team if multiple colleagues are not grasping the new technology, request that there be a few minutes spent at every turnover meeting to discuss the technology issues. This generates learning opportunities for those who are uncomfortable in admitting they need additional training and gets the issue out in the open.
- Be an advocate. The quickest way to overcome the growing pains of using new technology is to have it become part of the routine. The faster it goes from being the “new thing” we have to do, to part of the routine, the faster your fellow nurses will make sure they are up to speed on it. Let’s face it, it is human nature to resist change (think stethoscope). You can help reduce the chaos of new technologies by advocating for its benefits. Having you and a few of your colleagues advocating the positives of the change will put peer pressure on the resistors to get on board the technology train. In the end, it will make everyone’s job easier!
If there is one certainty that you can count on in the medical profession is that change is going to be a way of life now and in the future. Being resistant to it is not a winning strategy and will only add stress and frustration to your life. Being accepting of new technologies and the changes taking place around you allow you to adapt more quickly.
As the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, once said, “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.”
What are your personal strategies for adapting to new technologies in your workplace? Are you an advocate or do you sometimes struggle with resisting it? Please share your thoughts on this in the comment section below, or join the discussion on our Facebook page.