Guest Blogger: Jenna
Technology has seriously grown leaps and bounds, hasn’t it? Long gone are the times when you had to call someone to remind them to pick up milk or to set up your appointments. Now you can just update a list, send a message, or even a tweet. In many ways, technology has made life so much easier.
This is especially true in the healthcare industry. Did you ever watch a classic episode of the original Star Trek? Dr. McCoy seemed to be on the cutting edge in the 1960s, being able to scan and fix ailments with just the simple sweep of a tricorder; be able to bring people back from the dead, or preserve them until they could reach a med unit.
While we haven’t reached the point of holodeck or transporter technology, our healthcare system – though broken – still manages to utilize some of the far reaching ideas that have come our favorite movies and television shows. As a nurse, we watch new technologies come in everyday. Just two months ago, we mentioned how great Google Glasses could be to the aid of being able to view information and communication between us, our doctors, and most importantly, our patients.
Communication and information are the big concepts in healthcare and ironically, they’re also the big movers of the Internet in general. Think about it – we can keep in contact with friends and family, as well as co-workers, bosses, and even your doctor. Information can be shared – as long as you’re careful about it, and abide by HIPAA guidelines – with anyone you allow access to. This can be great or bothersome for us nurses. Think about it, you want a patient to tell you as much information as they can, however having them think they have something they don’t because WebMD mentioned it in an ad isn’t helpful.
However, to me, the best thing about the Internet is social media. Yes, I said it. Social media is great, especially if you use it for more than cat videos and playing games. In this, I’m talking about social media groups or communities; these things are on most sites, which brings folks from all over into one place. Think about it. Let’s say you work in a Baltimore plastic surgery office, which are renowned for their quality assurance. Maybe you have new procedure in place or you’re wondering about new healthcare laws and HIPAA.
Joining a community on Google+, for instance, can get you in contact with not only other healthcare professionals, but nurses who are doing what you are or maybe are in the know about things that you haven’t heard of it. You can certainly add your friends and their friends to groups on Facebook, which brings together your nursing friends and their nursing friends. And who’s to say that you need to discuss work?
Maybe your son’s school is looking for another nurse, maybe one of your new nursing friends is looking for another job, maybe you’re looking for another hospital to work at; in a group of people from all over your city, state, country, and the world, you’re literally networking with thousands, if not millions of different people. And all these folks know other folks, like other doctors, lawyers, tech people, and more; maybe there’s a new learning tool you didn’t know about or a nursing app you hadn’t considered.
And when you join a community or group for nurses, you’re in good company with our very own people.