HIT from a nurse's perspective: Put us at the development table

The use of technology in nursing has become something they can't live without, but technology must be better integrated into nursing education, according to Elizabeth "Betty" Jordan, R.N., an assistant professor at the University of South Florida College of Nursing.

In an interview posted to HIT Consultant, Jordan talked about the generational divide in nurses' uses of technology. Older nurses, she said, take a little longer to catch onto the technology used for care, while younger nurses have grown up with it; in that sense, the latter demand the technology and catch onto it more quickly.

According to Jordan, older nurses must get comfortable with the technology, while younger nurses must exercise patience while they catch on.

"Our healthcare space is getting bigger, and nurses working on those units really rely on technology to be able to communicate," Jordan said. "Once they're comfortable with it, they won't be able to live without it."

Just being able to have a doctor look at an image on an iPad quickly while he or she is talking to another patient is a huge help for nurses, Jordan said. She added that she'd like to see nurses at the development and deployment stages of new technology.

"Nurses are given demonstrations on a product that already exists," she said. "They have some rich insight into what would have improved that project, but they weren't at the table."

At the mHealth Summit in Washington, D.C., this past December, Leigh Ann Chandler Poole, M.D., a nurse practitioner at the University of Alabama, shared similar insights.

Telehealth isn't only about knowing the patient and the treatment--knowing the technology is equally important, she said.

The University of Alabama's nursing program has an extensive telehealth training program, according to Poole, in which students are assigned to work with a patient in a rural area throughout an academic year. 

"In academia, we have a bad habit of trying to teach our students what we know and how we learned it," Poole said. "That's not good enough for today."

To learn more:
- watch the interview via HIT Consultant