Free Advantages Of Telenursing Research Paper Example
Information is a key aspect in the provision of healthcare. The American Association of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) 2004 points out that the ability to manage information pertaining healthcare translates into high levels of healthcare and more positive outcomes in the medical field. Telehealth provides the platform where information can be used in healthcare. This has in recent years become an essential component in the provision of healthcare and is made up of aspects such as telenursing, teleconsultation, and telediagnosis.
Telenursing, therefore, according to the AAACN is the component of telehealth that comes into play when a patient and a nurse are not face to face. Here, information technology is used in order to provide the required health services. Russo (2001) points out that the United States has experienced a gradual appreciation of telenursing. He points out that the need for home health care and in extension telenursing has been rising at an average of 10%. He goes on to make the prediction that in the future, about 40% of the current onsite nurse visits will be done away with people preferring the telenursing approach. This advancement has not come from the blues but has been gradually rising. Hutcherson (2001) notes that the roots can be traced to NASA, who in the 1960s started programs to manage the health of astronauts in space. Currently, telenursing employs various information technologies that include Video and audio conferencing, faxes, Telephones and the Internet.
The consistency of communication between a patient and the nurse is another benefit reaped from telenursing. First, the nurse is able to successfully monitor vital signs and be alert in case of problems. The patients are also more educated about their condition and are able to give themselves the essential self-care. In case any kind of intervention is required, telenursing makes it easy for the patient to reach the nurse resulting in lower chances of fatalities.
Another advantage of telenursing is the practical solution it gives to gives to understaffing in the profession. As pointed out earlier, a single nurse is able to serve a bigger number of patients at a given time, thus reducing the number of people unable to access medical care. Studies have also shown that a correlation exists between telenursing and job satisfaction by the nurses. Given the improved ability to reach more patients, prevent more emergencies and thus save more lives; telenurses have been observed to be more satisfied with their jobs.
Disadvantages of Telenursing
Disadvantages of telenursing are also evident. First, nurses have been trained to note slight changes in the body of patients and even read some non-verbal cues that can be essential in providing medication. Simple aspects such as scents can be key to solving given problems. The issue, therefore, arises in that these signs and cues cannot be observed through the telephone or even a video call. The lack of personal interactions between the patient and the nurse is also another disadvantage. By interacting with the patient face to face, a nurse can get used to the patients personality which may be a factor in getting well of the patient. Telenursing prevents the nurse from hearing and dealing with personal issues that the patient may have, and which may be key to the wellbeing of the patient.
Sometimes, the patient may be unable to use the equipment required in telenursing. The overdependence on electronic equipment is, therefore, a big disadvantage since equipment malfunction and the inability of the patient to use them may be hazardous. The cost of telenursing has also been brought up as a big disadvantage. The setting up of the equipment comes at a cost while facilitation of the services also has its cost. In the long run, therefore, telenursing has been observed to be costly compared to the conventional ways of nursing.
Ethical Issues Associated with Telenursing
Telenursing comes with its even share of ethical issues and dilemmas. Kaplan (2008) points out that though telenursing has various advantages to both the patient and the nurses, most times nurses find themselves in an ethical distress whereby they are not clearly informed on what to do.
First is the issue of Autonomy versus beneficence. This situation arises when a third party contacts the nurse on behalf of the patient. This is due to the reality that most times, spouses or patients are the ones who call for assistance about the medical condition of their partners. The nurse is, therefore, torn as to whether reveal information or do what it takes to help the patient that in this case involves revealing details to the patient’s relatives.
Another ethical issue that rises is that of integrity and documentation. This occurs when the nurse is not sure of the identity of the person they are talking to. During a phone call, it may not be easy to see the body language the patient exhibits and even who is on the end of the other line. This, therefore, puts the nurse in a hard position on whether to reveal given information or not.
Another ethical issue in telenursing is that of responsibility and information. This situation occurs when a patient calls and gives symptoms of a bigger issue or problem than expected. It becomes difficult for the nurse to decide if disclosing all the information will be too much for the patient to take. This may cause the nurse to consider withholding some of the information.
It is my view that my future lies in telenursing. This is due to the realization that procedures of healthcare provision will continue to evolve from the conventional ones. As pointed out in the statistics, the future will call for nurses who possess both the technical and clinical knowledge. Telenursing is, therefore, a real issue that cannot be overlooked by health professionals.
The complexity of the matter however is an issue that needs to be dealt with. As pointed out above, various challenges and ethical issues have been raised. The way forward, therefore, should be coming up with strategies that ensure that telenursing is done professionally, competently, safely and ethically. This is because telenursing offers an avenue through which the nursing profession will effectively make use of nurses in assisting people irrespective of where they live. If optimized, telenursing can be a key tool that helps to provide healthcare to each and every single person in need globally.
Hutcherson, Carolyn M. (2001). "Legal considerations for nurses practicing in a telehealth Setting". Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 6(3). Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Volume62001/No3Sept01/LegalConsiderations.aspx
Peck, Amy RN (2005). Changing the Face of Standard Nursing Practice through Telehealth and Telenursing. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 29 (4), 339–343.
Kaplan, B., & Litewka, S. (2008). Ethical challenges of telemedicine and telehealth. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 17, 401–416
Pitman, NJ (2001). American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN). Telehealth nursing practice and administration standards. Retrieved from http://www.aaacn.org/resource/telephon.htm
Russo, H. (2001). Window of opportunity for home care nurses: Telehealth Technologies. Online Journal of issues in nursing. Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin/topic16/tpc16_4.htm