Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy, nurses are rarely short on caring. – Sharon Hdacek
It’s been said that great nursing is a combination of art and science. Years of education and training are at the core of any effective nursing practice. But just as important as technical skill, is the art of bedside manners – or making patients feel comfortable, safe, and motivated.
Simply put, the demand for high-quality nurses will never dwindle. But that isn’t to say the nature of the field will remain static. In recent years, with the advent of new communication technologies, the world has seen increasing trends of remote nursing – or nursing from afar. So, is the field of nursing changing before our eyes?
While nursing’s core practices are likely to remain the same, advances in technology are making the field much more flexible than it was in the past – offering new and exciting ways to provide patients with top quality care.
What is remote nursing?
The advent of new communication and collaboration technology has made remote work a possibility in many industries. Remote nursing shares much in common with traditional nursing, except that it tends to emphasize administrative and consulting duties over direct medical assistance. Remote nurses use technology like web cameras, internet chatrooms and voice calls to help patients and colleagues make medically sound decisions and be effective in their work.
The transition into remote nursing has opened exciting opportunities for nurses, creating a whole new niche of jobs in the field.
How do patients contact a remote nurse?
Most patients get assistance from remote nursing services through their healthcare provider. This way, nurses have access to patient health records, and can develop a clear health profile of the patient. Remote nursing can be especially useful for patients with ongoing health conditions, who might otherwise make excessive trips to the doctor’s office.
Where do nurses practice remote/virtual nursing?
From anywhere, so long as they have adequate technology and internet connection. Depending on the branch of nursing, remote work can be done from one’s home, from a doctor’s office, from hospitals, prisons, and many other locations. When in regular communication with patients, a variety of health conditions can be monitored remotely. Everything from blood pressure to oxygen levels, heart rate, and more. Remote nurses can even guide patients on how to treat a minor injury or dress a wound.
Here are some areas where remote nursing is common:
- Primary care – nurses and physicians consult with patients over the phone to order lab tests, record medical histories, conduct certain types of checkups, and write prescriptions.
- Triage nursing – early assessment after an accident or emergency to determine appropriate attention.
- Medical case managers – for patients who require ongoing medical advice in non-emergency situations (for conditions such as MS, diabetes, heart patients, etc.)
- Non-clinical positions – to provide consulting in areas such as clinical research, medical education, workers compensation and more.
Should you consider a remote nursing job?
The needs for nurses are ever-growing, both in traditional and non-traditional roles. If you are considering remote work, start by learning how to prepare for a remote nurse job search, as well as what companies are hiring for remote nursing positions.
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