The Future of Nursing
The Future of Nursing Ami Randall July 24, 2010 Upon considering the past and future of nursing, many changes have already taken place, and even larger changes are expected. With the recent rate of technological development, the heath care system is certain to follow in its advances at nearly the same pace. Many predictions for the future of medicine are based on computerized technology. The use of telemonitoring, video and “smart houses” are already being used by some companies today, and will be utilized more frequently in the future.
This will enable one nurse to care for many more patients than he/she is capable of safely caring for currently. This is very important due to the baby-boomer generation growing older and the realization that there just are not going to be enough nurses to care for all of the elderly patients at a ratio of five patients to one nurse. These patients will need to be cared for in their homes, or new “smart homes”, because there simply will not be enough room in long term care (LTC) facilities or hospitals, nor will there be enough nurses, to allow for hands on nursing care around the clock.
These advances will also help to bring down the cost of healthcare/nursing care, and allow personalized nursing care for only the most acutely ill patients. This is unfortunate however, for our patients. There is nothing computerized that can take the place of the gentle touch of a nurse during times of illness, anxiety or sadness. The power of human touch is very therapeutic. Health care in the year 2035 will look much different than present times.
Technological advances have given health care, medical research and the science of nursing enormous opportunities for advancement in development, in comparison to previous times. Computer programs are able to study, and therefore predict the behaviors of different cohorts of people, and in the future, these programs will gather information and have the ability to predict the behaviors of bacteria’s, viruses, and different diseases. This information will be gathered and transmitted to a global healthcare network by personal embedded computer companions.
These personal companions are able to monitor every human reaction to physical and emotional stimuli, as well as, how a specific disease process is affecting the different systems of the body, and how medications are systemically treating any disease process. This system will detect disease processes much earlier than is capable at the present time. This information is then transmitted to this global health care network, as previously mentioned, and the data used to better understand disease processes and help to find cures for these diseases.
The human genome has also been decoded by computers, for the cost of around one-hundred dollars. With this technology, medical professionals can better understand why some people, and who these people are specifically, are more susceptible to different types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and so on. These chronic conditions and diseases will be cured and prevented and the larger problem will be mutating viruses and “super bugs”, for which pharmaceutical companies have put very little effort into developing curative or nonresistant medications.