THE FUTURE OF TELENURSING 1
TheFuture of Telenursing
Telenursingis the use of information technology and telecommunications todeliver nurse care and conduct nursing practice this is usually donewhen the distance between the nurse and the patient is long, and itwould be hectic or impossible for the two to meet. Tele-nursing hasbeen in use for the last four decades, and it doesn`t differ muchfrom face to face nursing practice. The only thing that changes isthe medium through which the care is delivered.
Oneof the primary competencies that telenursing requires is the abilityto use technology, for instance, digital assessment tools, use of thetelemonitoring equipment as well as internet and computers. Given thechanges that telehealth has brought, Tele technologies have alsoexpanded to support the patient and professional health-relatededucation and health administration. There are several advantages oftelenursing which include time management and little to no travel(Purc-Stephenson,n.d).A nurse and a patient who are working through telenursing are in aposition to manage their time as well as be flexible in theirschedules. This practice doesn’t involve any traveling.
Telenursingis also convenient and makes good use of resources. In this regard,patients will always be where they are required to be whether it’sfor consultation or general checkups. Tele-nursing also saves costsbecause it utilizes the health setting resources in the best manner,it also saves fuel and bus fares for the many travels that a patientcould have made.
Howeversome disadvantages are connected to telenursing which may involve thepatient not being able to access the technology easily on the otherhand, a nurse may not be 100% sure of the state of the patient unlikeif it was face to face.
Thereare ethical issues that arise out of the practice of telenursingthey include security, confidentiality, autonomy and privacy issues.In this case, confidentiality, non-maleficence as well as consent aresome of the basic principles of telenursing which have caused medicaland legal issues in the past. The legal issues have been due to theinefficient and ineffective use of telenursing. The core issuesoutlined as being, first, responsibilities and eminent liabilities ofhealth care professionals, second, duty to maintain confidentialityand privacy of patients’ details and lastly jurisdictional problemswhich are brought about by cross-border consultations (Hutcherson,2001)
Ithas been argued that the ethical principle of beneficence hasincreased accessibility of care, and it has also reduced costs. Thelower prices are because in telenursing there isn`t any movement fromone location to another and thus no traveling expenses. However, onlythose people who can access technology can benefit from the practice.Additionally, the responsibilities are ambiguous concerning patients’loyalty or the employer this means that the staff is in a positionwhereby they may be committed to the employer rather than thepatient.
Confidentialityis another issue whereby a patient has entrusted the nurse with theirinformation the nurses are required by the principle ofnon-maleficence to practice professional responsibility whilehandling the clients’ data. This could be a problem because theprinciple of confidentiality is focused on individuals’relationships rather than the systems that are used to deliver thetelenursing care. Security of technology is thus crucial inprotection of the patients and bid for maintenance of quality carestandards (Schlachta-Fairchildet al., 2008)
Someof the principles that are used in guiding the nursing practiceinclude patients` rights to privacy. The rights are in regards totheir details and medical records, that the rights should not bebroken unless the patients themselves waive them and that if there isdisclosure of information, it should be related to the prevailingmedical condition, and it has a purpose of specific treatment.
Theprivacy of patients should be maintained in every situation and moreespecially during the telenursing consultations. However, it isimportant to explain to the patients that privacy and confidentialityare not guaranteed in telenursing, this is because the traditionalprinciples of privacy and confidentiality change when usingtelenursing in care provision.
Despitethe issues that are involved with telenursing, it is important thatwe appreciate it as its full potential has not yet been explored.Its’ use has been on the rise in many countries due to factors suchas a nation’s bid to drive down the health costs, the aging andchronically ill population have been on the rise as well as the needto provide health care services in the scarcely populated areas.Telenursing has also proven to be advantageous in that it has helpedin solving the issue of reduced nurses.
Theaffordable care act and the need for hospitals to meet certaincriteria for qualification in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursementhave changed the nursing practice and health care settings. Thechange is because medical facilities are starting to follow thetelenursing models which in any way are enhancing client outcomes andalso reducing the hospital visits (McLean,2013).This is a clear indication that telenursing is becoming popularized,and soon, nurses may be required to know compulsorily and understandhow telenursing operates.
Itis my opinion that after some years, telenursing will becomeacceptable widely with everyone embracing technology and easier waysof accessing health care at the comfort of where they are. It willcome a time when visiting the doctor will be outdated and redundantdue to the spread of telenursing services. In my opinion, takingtelenursing as a career would be rewarding, however, for one tobecome a trusted telenurse, one may be required to have exceptionalinterpersonal skills as well as have the ability to earn patients`trust. This will be enabled by ones’ character and dedication.Patience and enthusiasm should be some of the key traits that oneshould endure acquiring if one wants to become a telenurse.Additionally, a telenurse must have the capacity to note andunderstand minute issues exhibited by the patient during thetelenursing session. This way, your career as a telenurse will berewarding given the fact that there are fewer stresses associatedwith the job.
Itis, therefore, important that nurses understand that due to thechanges in the health care settings, hospitals may even startcreating telenursing departments. Choosing a career as a telenursemay just be the best idea because one will be trained in such a waythat you are cutting edge of combining the delivery of nursing careas well as technology. In my opinion, telenursing is a good fit forme because, despite the fact there are issues associated with thecareer path, it is an exciting path and one only needs to master theway technology operates. Tele- nursing’s only requirement is thatit just needs to be practiced with standardizations that guide givingadvice to patients and documenting communication.
Purc-Stephenson,R. J. Telenursing: A Review of Recent Trends, Emerging Issues andEvolving Practices Rebecca J. Purc-Stephenson, PhD.
Hutcherson,C. M. (2001). Legal considerations for nurses practicing in atelehealth setting. OnlineJ Issues Nurs,6(3),4.
Schlachta-Fairchild,L., Elfrink, V., & Deickman, A. (2008). Patient safety,telenursing, and telehealth.
McLean,S., Sheikh, A., Cresswell, K., Nurmatov, U., Mukherjee, M., Hemmi,A., & Pagliari, C. (2013). The impact of telehealthcare on thequality and safety of care: a systematic overview. PLoSOne,8(8),e71238.