Quote from sivad05
I am a pre nursing student and the same thought crossed my mind yesterday as I completed a math class. I currently work in IT and I can remember when I was taking programming classes we always learned to take a scenario create a program and compile it from the very beginning. When I began my experience that is how I planned to put my skills to use, from the very beginning. However, I can rarely think of an occasion that I had to write a program from the beginning, most of the time, I revised or copied a basic program. Due to deadlines, copying or revising was standard and we do not have the time to begin from 'scratch". So I was wondering if nursing will be the same way.
Are we learning the fundamentals, however with modern technology we will not be starting from "scratch"? Are meds delivered to the floor with the dosage already calculated? If not, in the near future will meds be pre-packaged and calculated by a computer? I also notice that in the ER they already use the internet or other computer programs to diagnose. Do nurses have access to the internet or other software programs at the nurses station?
At the hospitals in my area, the dose is generally calculated in the EMR (electronic medical record), and the correct dose of the drug is in the PYXIS. However, I've caught errors between the MD's orders and the EMR, as well as finding the wrong dosage in the PYXIS (and I'm just a student, so I've only been on the floor for a limited time). So, I learned pretty quickly that I still need to do the dosage calculations myself to ensure it's correct. The technology isn't there to speed us up, the technology is there to put create another level of safety. It seems to me that level of safety is diminished if I use it to replace my double checking it instead of in addition to my checking it.
As far as access to the internet. It's available, but I generally don't think I'd have time to "look something up" while on the floor. But, if I really didn't know and needed that info to proceed (drug info, procedure info, etc) than I would before interacting with the patient.
Honestly, I carry a PDA with Skyscape Constellations on it. It has drug books, IV drug books, Tabers, Dx books, Lab Value books, you name it (and they're all linked together!). As a student, there's often lots I don't know yet, so I'll take a second and look stuff up on that. Much quicker than finding a computer to get to the internet.