The medical world is and will be short staffed for quite some time. I’ve read countless articles pertaining to the nursing shortage and also the lack of doctors. Specialists are also hard for patients to get a hold of due to distance and rarity in certain areas. Robotics is slowly starting to eliminate these problems and may be something that nurses with an online RN to BSN degree will see on their wards on a daily basis.
This is interesting: a few weeks ago I wrote my post about how Toyota has developed nurse robots to aid in routine patient maintenance tasks. The reality of these machines working daily in hospitals seemed years away. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case according to an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Pulse editor Laura Raines writes that stroke patients at Northside Hospital-Cherokee use a Mobile Access Consultation Services (M.A.C.S) to access the skills of a specialist without that doctor being on sight.
“When a patient with stroke symptoms enters the emergency department, physicians can call a designated number to consult the Atlanta neurology team,” explains Raine.
“Instead of taking 30 minutes or more to drive to the hospital, I can log in within one or two minutes of the call,” said Dr. Keih Sanders, with AcuteCare Telemedicine. “I’ve even been able to pull over and work from my car.”
“Using a laptop, joy stick and headset, the physician drives the robot to a nurses’ station or a patient’s room to perform a stroke evaluation,” states Raines. With stroke patients, it is obvious that time is of the upmost importance. A specialist can evaluate the patient within minutes of the patient’s arrival to the hospital, use his access to the hospital data base to pull up CAT scans and blood reports, and then contact the ER doctor with the appropriate action that must be taken.
“We had to be comfortable with it in the room so that we could make our patients comfortable with it,” said Karen Newman, RN, BSN, emergency department nurse clinician at Northside Hospital-Cherokee. “When the physician beams in, his face is the same size it would normally be, and he can talk with the patient in real time. Once they get over the mouth-hanging-open surprise and the doctor starts talking, most patients forget about the machine.”
Technology amazes me and it seems like nursing students in an accelerated RN to BSN program are in for a lot more surprises.
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