To the editor
The advances in medical devices have increased greatly over the past years. Just a few years ago I remember using crank up mechanical lifts, now hospital have electric lifts that dangle from the ceiling. Nursing charting and medical books were all hand written, if there was poor legibility, patients orders may be misinterpreted. Most hospitals are turning to electronic charting, while others are still using hand written documents. Other technological advances include pressure relieving beds, and manual blood pressure machines. Generally this technology improves patient care, but many times the equipment is not working to its full potential. An example of this would be the use of blood pressure and glucometer machines. There have been many instances where I took a patient’s blood pressure twice and each time it showed up drastically different, same with the glucometers.
I have been working in the nursing field for approximately five years now. Currently I work at a hospital in Lowell Massachusetts. From being in nursing school, and experiences various hospitals, I have been able to observe the benefits of numerous resources and technologies. Where I currently work, nurses have there legibility. In addition, all medicine passes must be written down on a paper. I feel this system makes it easy to make a med error. All medicine should be scanned through the computer prior to administration to the patient. When the medicine is scanned necessary parameters should pop up, warning the nurse of the patient’s vitals or lab values pertinent to the drug.
With up to date and working equipment and more innovative technology, we can increase patient safety and satisfaction. With a computerized system it makes it possible to decrease med errors. With better working equipment we can also ensure the safety of the nurse. Every hospital should be equipped with proper patient lifts and sliding devices. I work on a medical-surgical floor and sometimes we get patients who are unable to transport themselves. In order to move the patient from the bed to the chair the strength of several nurses is required. Such movement can easily cause a back injury. If the hospital was equipped with a mechanical lift this would not be a problem.
Currently, I am finishing my senior year in the baccalaureate nursing program at University of Massachusetts Lowell. I hope to be a graduate nurse this upcoming spring. As a graduate nurse I hope to work in a well establish hospital, with innovative technology and proper working equipment. I believe that all hospitals should have easy to understand online charting systems. In addition all medicine should have to be scanned with pertinent parameters related to drug before given and not written on paper. If more money was invested into the hospital system for new equipment, patient outcome will be increased. With better patient outcome patients may stay healthier longer and stay out of the hospital.
Student UML-BSN RN
University of Massachusetts Lowell