A Nurse's Experienced Perspective Gives Clinicians More Time with Patients
Shelly Schulz, RN
Clinical Solution Advisor, Infor
"We are nurses 24/7. We act as facilitators, communicators, and supporters for our patients, their families, our team members. We also know that not everyone heals."
I have always wanted to care for people. To make them feel better. To help them be comfortable.
I was called to nursing in high school. At that young age, my perspective on nursing was that I would take care of the sick or injured, heal them, and send them on their way. Of course, 35 years later, my experience has taught me that it is so much more than that. We are nurses 24/7. We act as facilitators, communicators, and supporters for our patients, their families, our team members. We also know that not everyone heals.
At times we provide a sole source of comfort for scared patients and grieving loved ones. I have embraced, consoled, and prayed with families of patients we have lost. In sharing that grief, I have gained my own sense of comfort in knowing that I provided support when it was most needed.
Since I brought my bedside nursing background to a technology company a decade ago, and now that I am at Infor, I’ve maintained a strong awareness of this very human element of what I do. I know my role is to connect my work to not only support clinical outcomes, but a better experience for patients, families, and my fellow healthcare staff members.
Technology that cuts down on time-consuming administrative responsibilities, help set standards, and automatically monitor equipment are just some of the functions that save caregivers precious time and send them back to the patient bedside. Technology can reduce wait time for those anxiously awaiting a procedure and improve the way patients and care flow through the entire care setting. It also has to be easy to use. I know that busy nurses are not going to use a function that requires five ‘click-throughs’ to accomplish the task.
I currently work with systems that track patient location in the hospital, as well as where they are in the care process. The immediacy and accuracy of this type of information really offers peace of mind in an otherwise hectic environment. Staff use this same technology to activate an emergency alert whenever needed. At an even deeper clinical level, hospitals use real-time location systems to conduct contact tracing when a patient is identified as having an infectious disease, providing immediate notice to isolate, decontaminate, and quarantine anyone potentially exposed. And they can do it in minutes.
We’re seeing the life-saving benefits, and the potential, that these capabilities deliver for our users now more than ever. It is phenomenal what technology can do to enhance the call to nursing that I felt so long ago.