Sunday, September 22, 2013

A BEDPAN EMBEDDED WITHIN A HOSPITAL BED? GIRL, YOU'RE CRAZY!

By: Chiqui Raveloski

Progress is an ongoing trend in the world of nursing. With progress, nursing technology has helped nurses increase their productivity and provide safe patient care. And as technology continues to advance, nurses remain in the forefront, using their critical thinking skills to carry on the demands of healthcare.

Back in the 1800 to 1900, the main focus of nursing was to provide the physical needs of patients while maintaining a hygienic environment. Yet, Florence Nightingale saw a nursing future capable of breaking barriers and the way society looks at the profession.

One boundary crossed was nurses found ways to increase patient comfort and facilitate care. A few innovations from the 1800s were the bandages, nursing bottles, bedpans, etc.  Since these paraphernalia are still widely used even today, one cannot argue that nurses as innovators had a vision that withstood the test of time.

In the future, can you imagine the bedpan embedded right there in the hospital bed itself? This can be hooked up directly to a waste dispensing system and cutting down on manually dispensing patients’ waste. This will also cut back on spread of bacteria and diseases. Do you think this is possible?

Back then, the possibility of devices such as PDA’s, hand-held computers, and smart phones were slim to none. Yet today, these components are widely used by nurses as part of their workflow. These gadgets enable nurses to access patients’ information through electronic health records. Additionally, nurses cannot thank the innovators enough for the implementation of electronic charting.

In the future, let’s take it a little bit further and imagine nurses charting in real time through voice command and dictation. A computer program can take down the dictation and simultaneously record it in the patient’s electronic chart. "Napakarami ng posibilidad." Possibilities are endless.

Another technological contribution that has enhanced patient safety is the wireless patient monitoring system.  This comprehensive system monitors a patient’s core vital signs while connecting to a nurse’s handheld computer anywhere and anytime. This allows for early detection of patient deterioration, initiate a rapid response, therefore, improving patient outcome.

 In the future, can you visualize a hospital bed where it can also monitor a patient’s positioning? The HOB will automatically elevate up by so many degrees once it senses that a patient’s O2 sat drops to an undesirable level.  We cannot get more rapid than that.

An area in healthcare called Telenursing is presently achieving a rapid rate of growth as the number of aging and chronically ill population steadily increases. With the use of telecommunication, nurses continue to inspire and educate a vast amount of patient population and reaching them through technology.

What would happen if Telenursing of the future also involves holographic technology? This will be very beneficial to patients that are on home health physical therapy. If they need additional assistance with instructions on how to use futuristic durable medical equipments, a holographic nurse, physical therapist or occupational therapist can demonstrate instructions clearly. Granted, one can watch it over a computer screen. But, holographic technology can achieve a more personal approach to teaching, thereby, increasing better understanding and clarity. Wouldn't that be cool?

One thing is clear. Technological innovations are changing the way nurses practice - how they deliver care to patients and how they manage clinical workflows. Nurses contribute in this aspect as more nurses enter the world of Nursing Informatics.  This shows that nurses continue to expand their knowledge not only in the bedside but also in areas that has the ability to impact the way healthcare enters into the future.

Nurses can influence healthcare technology by building a strong collaboration with manufacturers in designing and programming tools necessary for patient care delivery. Nurses have firsthand experience in patient care. This makes more sense that their contribution with the design will be greatly beneficial. Nurses can also help in software development to better make various systems “talk” to each other in order to make data even more easily and readily available.

The readiness of data availability is one factor which makes the future of nursing technology very exciting. Right now, with the introduction of Google Glass, we can only imagine what this gadget can do for nurses.

 Envision nurses utilizing Google Glass in their everyday work. Imagine Google glass with all kinds of medical software and system embedded into one program. Nurses can easily access all the data they need, like critical lab results, blood type, and allergies especially in emergency cases. Nurses can also electronically chart, possibly do a patient identifier through face recognition just by mere voice command. Oh, if only we could do that right now!

In addition to Google Glass, picture a hospital floor where medication dispensing systems are stationed outside each patient’s room, tailored for each patient’s medication profile. A tube system from pharmacy is connected to each station for easy refilling and crediting by pharmacy personnel. This will cut down on standing in line by the Pyxis or Debold machine trying to give the 0900 meds. 

If we could let our fantasy go even further, we can also daydream a single universal medication route, the jet injector. It uses a high-pressure narrow jet of the injection liquid instead of a needle to penetrate the epidermis. No more PO, IM, IV, SQ, transdermal, etc. If only…

What about a hand held scanning device that nurses can use to assess their patients. This scanning device can measure vital signs, blood sugars, assess heart rhythm, scan the bladder, check Dobhoff placement, and etc. This instant diagnostic tool can further assist nurses in identifying the proper nursing diagnoses, develop a plan of care, and evaluate for effectiveness.

These examples are only a few that our creative thoughts can play with at the moment. Yet, time has proven that nurses, as pioneers, have the willpower to break new grounds and grow in their chosen profession. And as we move ahead into what is yet to come, many questions arise regarding the effects of futuristic nursing towards humanity. Some may argue that the technological advances in nursing can dehumanize patient care and replace critical thinking skills.

Time can only tell. And as time keeps on slipping into the future, so are nurses’ caring traditions. Caring for patients brings out a nurse’s critical thinking skill. The same critical thinking skill is what makes nurses break the barriers that stand in their way. With this determination, patient care will not be dehumanized, but be better off as a whole. Nurses care and find comfort knowing that their thoughts and actions are genuine and real. - Tweet that. Ultimately, nurses will continue to advocate for patients first and afterwards, technology.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

5 Things I Learned About Nursing While Playing Candy Crush

By Chiqui Raveloski


So you are on your break and have 30 minutes to eat and relax. But no......Tiffi and Mr Toffee are calling you and saying, "Come here and play with us". You know what I'm talking about. The latest game that has been sugar coating your taste buds. The Candy Crush Saga.


Now, I have to wonder why they have to tag along the word "saga". When I hear the word saga, it reminds me of hits like "The Thorn Birds" , ( remember Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward, this series, OMG the taboo behind the story, hot, hot, hot ), and "Shogun", another epic series with Richard Chamberlain.

 These iconic movies had certainly made an impact to those who have watched and loved them. And I have to say,  that the creators of The Candy Crush Saga knew what they were doing when they were designing the game. For those who have jumped on the Candy Crush train, don't you all agree that this game has totally made an impact one way or the other in your lives?

As funny and corny as it may sound.  I have learned a few things about nursing while playing Candy Crush! Yes....silly right?! But for those who have been following my blog, you know that I always try to make a connection with one thing to the next. Like connecting the dots.

Speaking of that, my husband makes fun of my "age spots" on my cheeks and says it makes him want to play connect the dots on my face. And I'd say, OK....see what letters or symbols you can get out of it and see if you want to do it again!

OK back to the saga. Which one, Right? So here are the things I learned about nursing while playing Candy Crush.

1. "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Forrest Gump
Each level of Candy Crush , no matter how hard it is keeps you coming back. Wanting you to get to the next level and begin another torture. This is so much like nursing. Don't you think? We all know how demanding this job is but we always go back for more. Why is that? Do we really love our jobs, or are we just settling for the status quo?

We always say, it will be better the next day and sometimes it is and sometimes it's worst. Just like the levels in Candy Crush. We like to get to the next level  to see if it will bring us cooler boosters or super challenging puzzles. And as more candy comes down from the top your smart phone, you just never know what it will bring you.

2. Choose Wisely
Boosters or not, Candy Crush has reminded me to choose accordingly. Each move you make has to be strategically thought of. You always want to make a move that will bring you that striped candy to remove the entire row or the candy bomb to wipe out all the candy of the same color.

It is so much like nursing. You assess the patient and pick out the best nursing intervention to bring out the most desirable outcome For some reason, it reminds me of inserting a 3 way foley cath and running a Murphy Drip. Cleaning out the bladder, get rid of clots, urinate at the same time. And the saga continues.

3. Be Patient.
You know that Candy Crush has a life system that will make you want to spend that extra buck for a life. Someone has to make the money right? But, if you are patient enough, you can always take a deep breath, put the game down, and wait a few hours to gain more lives, for free. Heck, you even have Facebook friends that can donate extra moves to you.

Nursing stays hectic. As your friend, I want to remind you that when the going gets tough,  to please take a step back and breathe. This way, you take care of yourself and refrain from feeling overwhelmed. Each deep breath you take is like giving a little bit of your life back to yourself. Stay patient and relax.

4 Manage your time effectively. 
So,  you are in a level where you have 60 moves to clear out the all the jellies! Are you kidding me? Before you know it there are only 4 moves and butt loads of jellies. Or you have 60 seconds to score 40,000 points! Really? Just like in nursing,  you have 2 hours before that next Dilaudid IV for the sickler. And before you know it, 2 hours is gone and its time for the next Dilaudid

Time flies when you least expect it. Time management is so important in nursing that it can really throw you off the wazoo when something unexpected happens. Nurses, you know, the unexpected always happens. With this said. Plan, delegate, and get rid of all the unnecessary jellies.

5. Have fun.
I'm sure that you had the intention of just purely having fun when you first decided to download the game into your smart phone. Keep on doing that. This game is mainly for relaxation, escape from reality, and take a breather moment.

But what do you think about the background music ? As irritating as it may sound, it has a strange, opulent, carnival melody that stays in your sub conscious, whistling back for your attention in the middle of the night. LOL.

Just like Candy Crush, life is enjoyable, colorful,  and sweet.

Candy Crush is an enjoyable saga. Tiffi and Mr. Toffee are always there to cheer us on to the next level. They represent our 'Inner Ninja" - quietly and patiently giving us the strength to move on to our next level in life.

The colorful candy represents our colorful lives in general. Each candy whether it's green, red, purple or yellow, represents each and every race and personality we posses. When you see all of the candy in one screen, each color shines through like each one of us. And as each of the candy work together to bring down all the ingredients to the bottom, it represents each one of us working together to bring out the best quality in each one of us.

Last but not the least. Stay sweet and be happy.

Go on candy crushers. Have a great time and reach for the top!