Role of Nurse Informatics

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Nursing Informatics is a specialty in Nursing in which a nurse will use technology such a computer in order to document data such as vital signs and to make an educated decision based on the data. A nurse who specializes in Nursing Informatics must display several roles in his or her line of work. The roles are as follows: data gatherer, information user, knowledge user, and knowledge builder. Each of these roles helps in the performance and accuracy of Nursing Informatics.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to Nursing Informatics. Technology can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be disastrous. No technology is perfect and can be very costly if something should go wrong. Nursing Informatics has become very prevalent in the health care systems today. In almost every doctor’s office, hospital, or health care facility, there is some form of Nursing Informatics. Most doctors and nurses have begun to use computers instead of paper charts to document data. This cuts the amount of time spent writing in half and allows for more time to be spent with the patient.

The Use of Nursing Informatics in Health Care Today Nursing Informatics is a specialty within Nursing. Nursing Informatics uses “Information and computer technology to support all aspects of Nursing Practice, including direct delivery of care, administration, education, and research.” (Hebda & Czar, 2009) In Nursing Informatics, data, information, knowledge, and wisdom are integrated in order to support the decision making process. (Cite source here) In simple terms, Nursing Informatics uses technology such as computers to save time and allow for better nurse-patient interaction. Through the use of Nursing Informatics the process can flow more smoothly and eliminate the stacks of messy files.

In Nursing Informatics, there are several roles for client or patient care. One such role is a data gatherer. In the role of a data gatherer, the nurse will collect clinical data. (Hebda & Czar, 2009) Another role in Nursing Informatics is the information user. The information user will interpret the data collected in order to aid with decision making and patient monitoring. (Hebda & Czar, 2009) The next type of role is the knowledge user. A knowledge user is a nurse who will compare existing nursing knowledge with a specific patient’s individual data. (Hebda & Czar, 2009)The final type of role is a knowledge builder. A knowledge builder will aggregate the data gathered and will display the date in order for it to be interpreted or in order to show new knowledge. (Hebda & Czar, 2009) Each of these roles is important in the everyday job nurse who works in Nursing Informatics.

There are many advantages to using Nursing Informatics. One such advantage is that Nursing Informatics allows for more time to be spent focusing on the patient. With Nursing Informatics the nurse can use his or her external database such as a computer to quickly put in the data and not to re-copy the data into another document. Another advantage of Nursing Informatics is that the data can be viewed on all devices and is not limited to a select paper file. This allows for the file to be easily accessed and easily transferred. (Honey, Carr, Irvine, & Westbrooke, 2010)

While there are advantages to using Nursing Informatics, there are also disadvantages. A very big disadvantage is that no technology is perfect. As with any system a computer network can crash, files can be lost, and computers can become virally infected. Usually, such problems are not very catastrophic due to the fact that the files are generally backed up on more than one device. This disadvantage can be easily be avoided as long as the necessary precautions are taken. Another disadvantage of using Nursing Informatics is the need for many external databases or computers. Computers are not cheap and neither is training to use the computers. Also, with the purchase of new computers, new employees who specialize in the use of the databases may need to be hired. (Murphy , 2010)

This course has related to Nursing Informatics to the practice of nursing in many ways. The first way is through the text book HANDBOOK Of Informatics for Nurses & Healthcare Professionals by Toni Hebda and Patricia Czar. In the textbook Hebda and Czar explain what Nursing Informatics is, and how it is used in the health care profession. Also, this course has related Nursing Informatics to the practice of nursing in the research and assignments for the class. In the assignments real life applications were used. The research allowed for each student to see how Nursing Informatics is used and how it is applied to nursing.

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