As the nursing profession continues to evolve, it is important that nurses also evolve along with the occupation. Telehealth can serve the following purposes: providing home telenursing; electronic referrals to specialists and hospitals; teleconsulting between specialists, general practitioners, or nurse practitioners; minor injury consulting; and consulting through call centers (Thede & Sewell, 2012 P. 369).
Today, I experience telenursing in my current career as a hospice nurse. My position as a hospice nurse entails triaging phone calls on a nightly basis. In this case, a patient or family member notifies a triage nurse of a health issue via telephone and the nurse then assesses the problem. The triage nurse then makes a choice on whether to order medications or visit the patient in his/her home and communicate with the doctor via email regarding the issue with the patient. Through the use of telenursing and telehealth in a hospice home setting, patients are able to have peaceful deaths. Besides, families are assured of hospice care 24/7/365.
Nurses working in telenursing career should be competent and have good communication and active listening skills to be able to convey information in a clear and concise manner to patients and family members. Telenurses must also be competent in the technology systems they are using to provide telehealth. Such systems may include computer, kiosk, and web portal. Telenursing involves the use of telecommunications technology to deliver nursing services. When physical distance between patients and nurses is immense, telenursing is utilized. Telehealth and telenursing fall under the same category and are used to enhance care given to patients. Telenursing is guided by several principles that help nurses to ensure that service delivery is up to the required standards.
These principles state that an effective telenursing should combine all the existing services in healthcare. It should also ensure that patients have maximum access to health care. In fact, an effective telenursing dictates that if possible the services should be readily available all the time. This implies that a patient should be able to access these services anytime just by connecting to a nurse. Finally, it should protect the privacy of both the patient and the nurse who is involved. These principles show that telenursing is highly competent and considers all the necessary factors to enhance the provision of healthcare services and practice of medicine.A recent article titled “Telenursing in Hospice Palliative Care” gives a more in depth description of hospice and home health job settings. Telenurses assess callers, advise them, and refer support and information to them about a range of health related issues in hospice and home health setting. Telenursing is a knowledge-intensive job, with high demand for professional competence.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2012). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Thede & Sewell. (2012). Informatics and Nursing Competencies and Applications (4thed).Philadelphia, PA: Lippincot Williams & Wilkins