Ask a nurse, “How did you get here?” and each one will tell a different story. For some, it was their first choice in career, born of an early desire to connect with patients. Others are drawn to nursing later in their careers due to life experiences that showed the vital importance of this high-demand field.
Regardless of when or how they chose their profession, every nurse will tell you that engaging with patients is vital to their work. However, this connection can be threatened by variables like the patient’s language barrier or limited mobility. For those with speech or hearing impairments, even telephone communication is difficult. All of these limitations can severely impact the quality of medical care. Fortunately, there are new tools available through digital technology to help qualified nurses engage with their patients in spite of many complex challenges.
This technology leverages both audio and visual tools, and can be transmitted to nearly any computer or mobile device. The benefits of these technologies are not reserved solely for the patients; nurses have gained an enormous boost to their income potential with the emergence of Telehealth services.
Expanding The Reach Of Nurses And Patients
Imagine hosting a Telehealth support group for your five diabetic patients who are all enrolled in the same new drug trial. With this tool, nurses have the ability to present information and answer questions in a single live webcast, saving both appointment and travel time for individual appointments.
Every practice sees patients who speak different languages, and this can lead to devastating errors in communication. Imagine having a nurse available via live video who can not only translate for the hospital staff, but can also review the patient’s medical record, explain and counsel the patient on their options for treatment, and help them make better decisions. Multi-lingual nurses are in high demand wherever they go, and telemedicine can bring these opportunities together with the most qualified professionals without expensive relocation or commuting costs.
Bringing The Right Experience To The Patient
The myriad of specialties in modern medicine has traditionally been forced to concentrate in large cities where demand is high enough to offset the cost of providing the specialty service. With Telemedicine technology, patients can enjoy a high level of specialized care from wherever they live. This means that specialty nurses now have a much broader spectrum of potential patients, and an even higher demand for their skills and experience.
For example, the state of Texas is home to some of the most remote communities in the world. Residents in El Paso used to travel 600 miles to Lubbock for specialized burn care, but with telemedicine services at the El Paso campus ofTexas Tech University, burn specialists, nurses, and physical therapists are just a click away.
Telemedicine’s Bottom Line
More than just improving the quality of care for patients, Telemedicine also brings far greater earning potential to nurses in every field. With remote medical technology, obstacles such as excessive travel time, language barriers, and sensory impairment are far less intimidating than they have ever been. This brings more patients to the virtual bedside, all while expanding treatment options and reducing the cost of fuel and transportation.