The Use of Computers in Nursing and Medical Education

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The Use of the Computer in Medical & Nursing Education

Computers are as common as stethoscopes and pens and paper in nursing and medical education. Both personal computers (PC) and hand-held devices (PDA) are showing up in classrooms and at the patient's bedside.

Computers in Nursing
"The use of computers in health care is no longer a question for discussion and debate. Their application in nursing is a reality in many centers ..."@Cite(HannahKJ88a ", p. 263"). With this opening statement, Hannah presents a concise overview of the use of computers in nursing practice. The primary applications are in the support of nursing documentation, patient care planning, and patient monitoring. Nurses must spend a considerable amount of time documenting the care they are giving to their patients. In non-computerized environments, this involves writing the nursing notes in longhand. These notes report on the treatments, medications, procedures, diagnostic tests, and other components of the patient's health and activity over a certain period of time. In computerized environments, the documentation process can be automated through the use of standard reporting forms and checklists that allow the nurse to use various computer interface modalities to quickly enter the information concerning the patient. Menus, windows, pointing devices, or cursor keys can be used to select standard items from lists, while specific data (such as numeric values) can be entered via a keyboard. This automated documentation process not only saves time, but it also increases the accuracy of patient information and makes it more readily accessible for diagnostic or statistical analysis. Computerized patient care planning can be implemented in a manner similar to the documentation process noted previously. Since standard lists of nursing diagnoses and interventions for particular patient problems have been prepared for almost all areas of nursing, it is not too great a leap to...
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