Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Will Nurses Become Obsolete?

As much as we may believe nursing is all about the care, health care these days basically has taken most of the “care” out of nursing.  We have devices like the one that can take blood pressure and put those readings into the medical record.  We also have machines that dispense medications.

While nurses are more than just machines, we are educated and intuitive clinical providers.  Nurses can recognize when a patient’s condition is deteriorating, take steps to stabilize the patient and call the physician if the problem escalates.

In Japan, there are now nurse robots being tested that will place IVs and automatically draw blood.  Elsewhere, there are EICUs where a nurse can watch several patients at the same time and, should a problem arise, the nurse can get help.  There are now even robotic devices that are like “Transformers” such as the robotic bed that can convert into a wheelchair.  Robotic nurses also can to triage patients in clinics, emergency departments and by telehealth services to streamline patient care.  Robots can also turn and position patients.

In fact, a company called AETHON now has robots in some hospitals that can deliver medications, supplies, linens, lab specimens and equipment.  A company in Winnipeg, Canada, is offering Robotic IV Automation (RIVA) while another in Sweden has developed LUCAS that can deliver automatic chest compressions.

If you think nurses won’t become obsolete, look again at society.  We have self-scan at the checkout, self-driving vehicles and even iPad ordering at some restaurants.  Do you think the advent of automation will make nursing easier or harder?  Are you prepared for what’s next if automation developments decrease the needs of a nurse?

Let me hear what you think in section below.


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