The Demand for Tech-Savvy Nurses Is on the Rise
Written by Rose Torrento on Thursday, March 28, 2019 Posted in Education & Career Advancement
Nurses tend to think of themselves as caregivers, but they’re so much more! In hospitals and care facilities that are growing ever more technological, today’s nurse is a multi-talented worker who is as much an IT guru as they are a medical professional. The demand for tech-proficient nurses is on the rise. Let’s take a look at the tech-oriented skills health care facilities are looking for when they contract travel nurses to be part of their teams.
Primary tech skills you need to have
It’s impossible to step foot in a hospital or care facility in this day and age and not come into contact with some form of technology. As a travel nurse, your patient’s health and care rely on your ability to use this technology. Here are some skills to start building or honing:
- EMR programs — Electronic Medical Record (EMR) programs are everywhere now. Paper recordkeeping is in the past! There are many EMR programs on the market, but you can learn more about the major ones online or through certification classes. Navigating and inputting information in these programs are absolute musts for all nurses.
- General computing software — General programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel and more are also important to know. Typing and utilizing computers for communication are a major part of a nurse’s day-to-day job.
- Mobile devices — Knowing your way around mobile devices such as tablets or portable stations is critical in today’s health care environment, since many facilities are switching from clipboards and paper to digital charting. Not understanding how to use these devices could reduce your ability to care for patients quickly and efficiently.
It’s not enough to know your way around one of your hospital’s software programs, either. Monitors, computers, and mobile devices are also growing staples in the medical community. You need to be able to understand the basic hardware for quick access and minor fixes.
Being tech-savvy has more than one benefit
Understanding technology in a health care setting and becoming adept at using it are great skills to put on your resume. When you do, you'll attract higher pay and better travel nursing assignments. However, the benefits of being tech-savvy go much farther than that.
Being a tech expert in the workplace also allows you to deliver better patient care day in and day out. Technology can help you assess, diagnose, and treat patients faster. Digital wearables, smartphone apps, scanners, and more help nurses solve patient problems with ease. Implementing this technology can even reduce patient and hospital costs, with care delivered faster and more accurately.
Tech is on the rise
To take advantage of these benefits, you need to be adept at keeping up with the rapidly evolving world of health care technology. As everyday technology becomes more advanced, so will the technology used in our hospitals and health care facilities.
A 2015 study showed that informatics nurses, or nurses with information and data technology skills, are improving the value of health care facilities and have a large impact on patient care. In this survey, 60% of respondents said that “informatics nurses have a high degree of impact on the quality of care provided to patients.”
To make an impact in your travel nursing assignments, start brushing up on your technology skills right away. In addition, keep technology front and center in your professional development plans for the future.
About the Author
Rosemarie Torrento has worked in health care for more than 26 years, beginning as a registered nurse in 1988. Early in her nursing career, Torrento worked as a freelance contract nurse before accepting a position in nursing administration. During her 17-year tenure in that role, she oversaw nursing employment and travel nurse contracting at a Level 1 Trauma Hospital in Michigan. Understanding the challenges travel nurses faced, Torrento founded Health Providers Choice Inc. (HPC) in 2003. Through Torrento’s extensive experience and her role as President and CEO, HPC provides travel placement of registered nurses and allied health professionals to hospital systems nationally.