Robots assisting nurses?

by cchao cchao (New) New

Hi everyone!

I'm a roboticist and postdoc at Georgia Tech, working with a professor from Georgia Tech on the idea of using robots to assist nurses in their daily work.

With nurses being the center of patient care, being so stretched for time, and also there being a shortage of nursing skills, it seems like there are some opportunities here. But we'd like to get input from nurses on this topic.

We've heard from some nurses that getting meds and supplies is a big time sink. Is this true in your experience? What other tasks take away a lot of time from patient care every day? Where would you like service robots to help, if at all?


HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience. 9,051 Posts

Hospitals are already using robotic order fulfillment in pharmacies - and many also have 'robotic' delivery systems for supplies and meals. What we really need are functional (non-scary) exoskeletons to help with patient lifting... like the one Sigorney Weaver had in the original Alien movie. I know that the military is already working on this, but we need them too.

And - how about some self-propelled patient beds to cut down on the effort required to transfer/transport patients. It can be a daunting task when we have to take a very heavy patients (& all attached equipment) on a 'road trip' for diagnostic testing or transfer to another area. Self-driving cars would also be appreciated for nurses who need to go home after becoming absolutely exhausted after working a string of 12 hour shifts that usually end up as 14-hour shifts.

Of course, none of this stuff can cost more than $25.00 because that's probably as much as healthcare administrators will spend on anything that is beneficial for nursing staff.


Specializes in ICU, LTACH, Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience. 1 Article; 2,672 Posts

Automatic dispensers of blankets, heated wipes, pads, basic sterile supplies (gloves, 4x4, 2x4, etc.) built into room.

Robotic compounding of kits for basic procedures and bringing them into rooms, especially when patient is in isolation, so that I do not have to pull off PPE, go somewhere to get that another 22g cath, then in another place to get Tefaderm, then back, replace PPE.

And, of course, lifting/moving help.


cardiacfreak, ADN

Specializes in Hospice. 742 Posts

To do my charting! You know kinda like the doctors dictating, only in real time. As I am doing my assessment and speaking out loud " lungs clear in bilateral lower lobes, faint wheezes auscultated in righ upper lobe, ...." the robot could be charting it for me.



324 Posts

Robots that lift, turn and hoist so that nurses and CNAs stop hurting their backs.

I know we have equipment already but... It's not a robot!


Specializes in Surgical, quality,management. Has 12 years experience. 1,753 Posts

Medication administration requires clinical judgment, it is not just dispensing pills. However for assistance with turning, moving and rolling robotics would be great.

Assistance with food delivery and clean up after would be great - the non clinical skills aspects could all be delegated to robotics.



Specializes in Oncology. Has 2 years experience. 125 Posts

I would love a real life Baymax! Seriously, a robot that could monitor my floor for changes in patient status would be awesome. I know, that's probably called the ICU, but I'm in the acute care world. But after the last night I had, I would just settle for a robot that could clean patients and reposition.