There is only one constant with technology…it’s always changing. As soon as we become comfortable with our iPhone or favorite app, they release two new versions, and we are back to square one.
For nurses, it can be very difficult to keep up with the constantly evolving technology in the medical field. After all, anyone who has been a nurse for a while can probably remember the days of handwritten MARs and trying to track down an actual chart. Today, it’s all computer generated MARs with scanners for tracking medication and computerized charts that are always available. Of course, not all technological advances are this simple to keep up with, which can make it hard on those of us who are a tad intimidated by technology.
If you can’t figure your iPhone just ask your 4-year-old niece or nephew. They’ll solve the issue in 30 seconds. Hospitals and pesky employment laws though are generally opposed to small children making rounds with you. So how can you embrace and keep up with changes in technology? Fear no more, we’ve compiled this list of four ways nurses can keep up with technology.
1. Become a member of a professional nursing organization.
Professional nursing organizations are constantly monitoring for potential changes that could impact their members. At the same time, they frequently put out new material and even host events to ensure their members have an understanding of what may be coming in regards to technology. Frequently visiting their website, signing up for newsletters, attending events, and making contact with other members is a great way for you to keep up with impending technology.
The biggest question is which organization should you join? Honestly, there is an organization for every field of nursing, including assisted living, spinal cord injuries, and occupational health. Your best option is to join the organization that fits your niche. There are also organizations for minorities, including male nurses, black nurses and even Nigerian nurses working in America. You can find a full list of nursing organizations here .
2. Take advantage of nursing apps.
You’re constantly snapping, tweeting and checking your friend’s social media posts. Why not take a few minutes for something productive. Download a few nursing apps that are designed to keep you up-to-date with all kinds of nursing news. There are numerous free and paid apps to choose from. Nursing Central is one that provides information on diseases and drugs, as well as access to Taber’s Medical Dictionary, Davis’s Drug Guide, and MEDLINE Search and Journals. Another, MedPage Today is considered the leading source for breaking medical news.
3. Subscribe to nursing journals and magazines.
If you prefer printed information, you’ll want to invest in a subscription to one or more nursing journals and magazines. (You can also opt for the online version.) Again, there are lots to choose from. Some of the most popular include HealthTech Magazine and The American Journal of Nursing (AJN), the world’s largest and oldest nursing journal. Don’t forget about the magazines that are designed for nurses in specific fields. Now that you’ve subscribed don’t just use them as coffee table decorations. Be sure to take the time to flip through every new issue.
4. Read nursing blogs.
Not only do nursing blogs provide information on serious subjects, including technology, but they usually have a humorous element to them as well. In other words, you get the best of both worlds. One, you stay up-to-date. Two, you can read funny stories left by other nurses. Nurse.org is one good option.