Preparing a Patient for a Diagnostic Technology.

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I will begin this study by introducing a case that I witnessed while on placement that used a form of diagnostic technology. I will continue by defining nursing informatics identifying the technology used for diagnosis of this patient in more depth, and explaining why that particular technology was used above any other. In the case study I will discuss a 70 year old man admitted due to a fall and acopia with a past medical history of copd and ribhadomylosis. The patient was already on 4 hourly observations and 3L oxygen due to shortness of breath and high blood pressure. I had noticed him holding an inhaler and he had been using it liberally. The patient began complaining of chest pain and further breathlessness and was panic stricken. The nurse in charge of his care notified the doctor and I noticed the doctor check his pulse and ask for a new set of clinical observations including heart rate. The patient was showing an abnormally fast heart rate or Tachycardia, he then asked the nurse to perform an Electrocardiogram or ECG to establish the pulse.

Nurses have an increasingly important role in health care and in a world where technology is constantly changing and improving nursing informatics is also becoming incredibly important. According to Hebda, Czar and Mascara (2005) Informatics is the science and art of turning data into information. With this in mind I now look at the technology being used in my chosen case study. The Electrocardiogram or ECG is a method of measuring and recording the electric activity of the heart to determine pulse. (Martin 2008), and is a quick non–invasive way of acquiring data to ascertain information about the electrophysiology of the heart (Dougherty and Lister 2011). It produces 12 tracings consisting of different combinations of strategically placed leads which record from electrodes placed on the patient’s body, arms, limbs and chest, (Tortora and Derrickson 2009). These are placed on the wrists and ankles as set out by...
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