Artificial intelligence is likely one of your work tools and in your home already, the future it’s already here. As a nurse I recognized our role is to be leaders in practice and AI requires that nurses connect the space between AI and the patient. It’s great to see new machines with blinking lights, touchscreens, piercing alarms and any nurse worth their value is quick to locate 2 buttons–power and alarm silence.
As we navigate through our current environment of more virtual care and less in person we recognize the leaps and bounds made in health care in this calendar year. Meetings held virtually, new etiquette rules, the patient even more engaged as the heath team coaches them on how to measure their pulse, blood pressure and any combination of needed data.
Foremost in our minds, as a workshop hosted by RNAO and AMS identified, is the need to ensure compassion is present, even enhanced, perhaps our future will yield more caring and empathy. AI may be a conduit to reaching that preferred future. Of course, the pessimists in the crowd will flag that any time gained by off-loading tasks from nursing will translate into less nurses. Perhaps in this pandemic year we can offer a view that our reflections and actions can literally set the stage for changes in nursing. Indeed we can create a burning platform, rather than react to issues; we can drive an idea from thought to action.
It is more effective to be proactive about changes in nursing, as we know our practice has changed over a generation–theoretical frameworks, physiological monitoring devices, increased scope of practice, determinants of health, and simulations for learning, nursing research, and translate and transfer knowledge. Whew! No wonder we’re busy. All of this occurring in a world changing as rapidly as 3 TV channels to 200+ and streaming platforms that can be accessed by a touch of a button or to verbal commands. “Alexa will it rain today? See you are using AI in a format that is user friendly.
Social media is a large investment of time for many individuals, as they connect and interact remotely, sharing and clicking; while platforms track the big data and machines learn what we are in the market for. We joke about Google used by patients for diagnosis and comparison, the family physician jokes the patient who uses Google runs a higher risk of complications aka death then one who consults the doctor. All kidding aside there is a lot of material on the info superhighway; a key role for a health care team may involve integrating old and new modalities as the nurse role may evolve to one of coaching rather than tasks carried out.
Do we need to change? Sorry change is happening all the time, iPads first came available in 2010, phone cameras rival some digital SLR cameras for quality and ease of use. Apps can be used for workouts, meditation, route planning, measure blood sugar etc. and yet we still need a health care team that has compassion, respect, honesty, all values that will add to a patient’s experience and how they interact with AI.
Challenges, stay tuned for the next chapter. Namaste.
The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.Alvin Toffler
Registered Nurse Storyteller, Healer, Scribe, Transformational Leader