Technology and nursing studies

As mentioned in previous posts I only have to complete my final clinical block placement that has been put on hold till after a inguinal hernia operation I have to have which is scheduled for late August to early September this year. One thing I have noticed during this year in attending some clinical practice sessions at university is how technology can play a vital part in helping nursing students to learn. In my view this is a vast improvement from when I was studying nursing full-time till the end of 2012 which helps see the theory side of nursing more clearly at the practice level.

UC Nursing mannequins

UC Nursing mannequins

Braun IV pump

Braun IV pump

The use of modern mannequins attached to computer health systems allows students to test their clinical skills out on the mannequins which can relate to setting up IV lines, inserting cannulas, catheters, nasogastric tubes, injections, oxygen therapy (CPAP- BiPAP), ECG, and many more. The other area of improvement is that the nursing lecturers have made some video training clips that the nursing students can watch on a number of clinical procedures which are educational. One of the clinical videos I am watching and taking notes on is how to set up an IV line using the new Braun IV pumps. It’s good to watch and learn from nursing professionals directly associated with your nursing studies as it makes you feel it is current and accurate for your learning requirements.

Another area of technology relates to online eLearning which is educational and a requirement for nurses to keep educated in a range of nursing topics that provides a certificate at the conclusion of the learning module. All of the online eLearning modules achieved also contributes to a point system towards the nursing registration process known as “continuous professional development” (CPD) that must equate to 20 hours per year .
There are also in-house health facility education learning, or hospital training sessions that nurses can attend that will also contribute toward the required 20 hour CPD requirements as well. These online eLearning or in-house modules can also be done by nursing students which can be attached to their nursing portfolios. During the last fortnight I have completed a number of eLearning modules which have been educational. Some of the eLearning modules I will complete next will be “Medication Safety Training” and “Basics of ECG Interpretation”.

One of my future joys in nursing will be the day when electronic medical charts will be used on the ward instead of the current hand written ones. My ability to decipher doctor’s notes or writing is not too crash hot as some long drug names can be tricky to work out if you’re not used to their hand writing. This is where technology can help reduce errors on the ward in my opinion especially in a rushed environment from my observation as a student nurse. This was a topic I researched in one of my final nursing assignments in 2012 called “Clinical Patient Documentation”. Here is the summary of my poster that I wrote in semester 2 of 2012…

Sharing the Evidence Poster presentation

Sharing the Evidence Poster presentation

Poster summary
Aim of the poster
The aim of the poster is to highlight some of the issues of illegible clinical patient documentation that can occur in most acute hospital wards at present around Australia.
Intended audience
The intended audience for this poster is fairly broad in terms of relaying information to doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and hospital executives involved with management.

Paper documentation versus electronic medical records (EMR) has been the topic for many health professionals researching information on how to improve the current clinical paper document system. Problems with illegible medical documents are wide spread across the world as there is research from the United Kingdom stating problems such as no patient identification labels, poor readability, and no clinician details to verify who wrote the entry (Raza, 2012). Jefferies, Johnson, & Nicholls, (2011, p. e6) state; “if readers cannot understand what is written in nursing documentation, there is a danger that misinterpretations could lead to clinical errors and adverse events”.

This is where the electronic medical record (EMR) system can help reduce clinical errors and adverse events which the poster demonstrates. Bhakoo, & Chan, (2011) state part of the reason why the paper documentation system is still in operation is due to the eHealth business process being largely neglected in the health-care sector. Health facilities that have used the (EMR) system indicate more positives than negatives since using it. Pearce, & Haikerwal, (2010) stated that general practice facilities have flourished with the (EMR) system in past years which has benefited in creating the largest electronic database of clinical information in the country. At the moment the Australian government is trialling the eHealth system which was announced in 2010 by the former federal minister of health Nicola Roxon (Hordern, Georgiou, Whetton, & Prgomet, 2011). Evidence from research supports the eHealth system in that it allows better communication between health professionals and the patient. Zhang, Yu, & Shen, (2012, p. 694) state “the benefits of the (EMR) system compared to the paper method is that staff found the (EMR) system much more legible, quicker, and convenient to use”. As a third year nursing student I am confident that the (EMR) system will promote efficient person centred care outcomes in the wards which are in the best interests of the public we serve.


Bhakoo, V., & Chan, C., (2011). Collaborative implementation of e-business processes
within the health-care supply chain: the Monash Pharmacy Project. An International Journal, Vol. 16. Retrieved from

Hordern, A., Georgiou, A., Whetton, S., & Prgomet, M., (2011). Consumer e-health:
an overview of research evidence and implications for future policy. Health Information Management Journal, Vol 40, p. 6. Retrieved from

Jefferies, D., Johnson, M., & Nicholls, D., (2011). Nursing documentation: How meaning is obscured by fragmentary language. Nursing Outlook, Vol. 59:6 Retrieved from

Pearce, C., & Haikerwal, M., (2010). E-health in Australia: time to plunge into the
21st century. Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 193. Retrieved from


Raza, M., (2012). Good Medical Record Keeping. International Journal of Collaborative
Research on Internal Medicine & Public Health. Retrieved from

Zhang, Y., Yu, P., & Shen, J., (2012). The benefits of introducing electronic health records in residential aged care facilities: A multiple case study. International Journal of Medical Informatics, p. 694. Retrieved from

Catch up next time,

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