Technology has dramatically changed how we experience health daily, as it is increasingly becoming an essential part of our lives. Virtual reality training for nurses and artificial intelligence (AI) applied to nursing have become adjunct to nurses' education and impact on patients' health.
Virtual Reality Nurse Training: How are Nurses Being Trained?
In general, nurses' training needs a lot of practice, as all the decisions they make affect the patient's well-being and safety. In the formal education of nurses, as many practical topics as possible are included so that nurses can practice and make difficult decisions without hesitation. However, practice is often limited to patient safety. New nurses cannot make all the difficult decisions independently, especially if they have not yet been certified, and there is often not enough time to think things through. This is where virtual reality for nurses comes in, which are practice fields where new nurses or future nurses can review clinical cases with the feeling of having real patients that are virtual simulations. In this way, they can practice the same clinical case several times, feeling present with a patient but without risking patient safety.
What Does the Research Demonstrate?
According to the latest research, nurses get as much practice in virtual reality as they would in clinical practice since it is done in real-time, with real clinical cases, but with simulated patients.
Some scenarios described for virtual reality are cases where the patient falls and needs to be helped to get up, or needs a specific medication administration with little time to react, etc. In actual practice, these cases could represent significant risks for the patients if the nurses in training do not respond in time. Still, because it is virtual reality, the nurses can make a mistake and try again so that when it is an actual patient, they can react according to the needs of their patients.
More and more nurse educational programs are choosing virtual reality for their nursing education, either for patient safety or for lack of practice space in overcrowded hospitals.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Technology is present in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, including the maintenance of vital systems. Many times, in the admission of a patient, programs are used to record and monitor vital signs, general condition, oxygenation, blood sugar, and many more factors that need to be observed as accurately as possible.
Artificial intelligence is also a factor that is changing medicine and nursing practice in different settings, such as hospitals, hospices, and homes. More and more reliance is being placed on automated processes based on AI technology.
Healthcare technology is increasing at the fingertips of nurses and patients. It is necessary to recognize that part of nurse education depends on nurses understanding how AI processes work and how to apply them.
There are different AI resources already being applied in many places. Some of these resources include visual recognition to diagnose illnesses more quickly; voice assistance, which is an automatic way to answer frequently asked questions from both patients and nurses that requires understanding and training of AI for each individual; and expert systems that are systems that learn from past situations to turn them into an experience that can be applied to other patients. The latter form of learning is beneficial when they want to save time on the diagnosis.
By interacting with the technology and integrating it in the best possible way, miscalculations are less common, the services offered are better, and patient care is more effective. Often the technology needs a lot of input before it can work effectively. Still, many of these IA systems have been tried and tested in many hospital settings with excellent results in both staff and patient satisfaction.
Other Ways Nurses Utilize Healthcare Technology
Another way of applying technology to nurses' lives is through PRN or per diem work, where the apps they have on their cell phones, such as the app offered by Nursa's team, help them find jobs, and organize their shifts better or earn more money. The modernization and introduction of technology in nurses' lives are guaranteed to support and lighten the work they have to do so that they can focus on their patients with more dedication and time. Therefore, the importance of introducing technology in clinical nurse training lies precisely in putting the patient out of harm's way and improving the quality of care of all services, whether through virtual reality or artificial intelligence, without taking the human aspect out of nursing care.