As a charge nurse at a skilled nursing facility, informatics is used to support patient care. Nurses rely on informatics technology, such as pulse oximeters and automatic blood pressure monitors, to gather data. Infusion pumps are acquired to deliver fluids, such as antibiotics, to patients, electronically. Call light systems direct communication between nursing staff and patients. Without informatics in the healthcare facility, good patient care would not be possible.
As nurses rely on a significant amount of knowledge daily, informatics plays a fundamental role in enhancing work knowledge. A few days ago, I received a new physician order for medication of which I had no knowledge. Due to a current facility policy prohibiting the use of personal electronic devices, such as cell phones, PDAs, laptops, and tablets, I turned to a drug reference book for research of the new medication.
Informatics is instrumental in the expansion of knowledge. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2012), all healthcare workers “need basic informatics skills, such as using search engines to find information about a specific topic” (p.143) and computer literacy classes. In reflection, the use of informatics tools, such as a tablet or PDA, could have been beneficial in the acquisition of new knowledge obtained from online education sources, as medication information is, currently, readily available on various online health sites. As new knowledge is acquired, the nurse