July 24, 2010
Upon considering the past and future of nursing, many changes have already taken place, and even larger changes are expected. With the recent rate of technological development, the heath care system is certain to follow in its advances at nearly the same pace. Many predictions for the future of medicine are based on computerized technology. The use of telemonitoring, video and “smart houses” are already being used by some companies today, and will be utilized more frequently in the future. This will enable one nurse to care for many more patients than he/she is capable of safely caring for currently. This is very important due to the baby-boomer generation growing older and the realization that there just are not going to be enough nurses to care for all of the elderly patients at a ratio of five patients to one nurse. These patients will need to be cared for in their homes, or new “smart homes”, because there simply will not be enough room in long term care (LTC) facilities or hospitals, nor will there be enough nurses, to allow for hands on nursing care around the clock. These advances will also help to bring down the cost of healthcare/nursing care, and allow personalized nursing care for only the most acutely ill patients. This is unfortunate however, for our patients. There is nothing computerized that can take the place of the gentle touch of a nurse during times of illness, anxiety or sadness. The power of human touch is very therapeutic.
Health care in the year 2035 will look much different than present times. Technological advances have given health care, medical research and the science of nursing enormous opportunities for advancement in development, in comparison to previous times. Computer programs are able to study, and therefore predict the behaviors of different cohorts of people, and in the future, these programs will gather information and have the ability to predict the behaviors of...