Technology and Caring: Finding Common Ground for Nursing Practice
Caring is acknowledged as the essence of nursing. Nurse-patient relationship is established to be central to the caring process. Currently, nursing is widely being practiced in environments inextricably linked with complex biomedical technology. Technology’s impersonal aspect is perceived to deemphasize the need to know the patient and act as a distraction from the nurse-patient relationship. Nurses are torn between the human caring model of nursing and robot-like attitudes perceived to be created by technology. In the context of the nationwide nursing shortage, addressing such frustrations is of vital importance to ensure nursing retention and viability of care practices. This paper argues that technology need not impede nurses in developing caring relationships with their patients, but actually enhances caring in the patient-nurse relationship. In combining the technological and caring aspects of their practice, nurses can act as a humane conduit between patient and technology, thus providing the soft, human approach that makes technology acceptable and non-threatening to patients. The challenge facing nursing is to integrate technological competency while focusing on the patient and developing a meaningful relationship.
Keywords: Technology and Caring, Technology and Nursing
Doctoral Student, Nursing Department, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
My Bachelors Honors thesis involved determining the influence of SimMan on nursing students’ clinical performance and being able to measure clinical practice parameters the results of which have been published in the International Journal of Nursing Education and Scholarship and presented at the 12th Annual Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Conference at Boston and the 4th Annual Northeast Simulation User’s Group Meeting at Foxwoods.