Bright light is blurring my vision. Trying to digest the moment I look around my surroundings. Computer monitors are all I see. In that brief moment I cannot move. When I try to look at my peripheral vision, I see ten other humans like me sitting comfortably and staring directly at the monitors in front of them. I tried to relax by doing deep breathing exercises. As my stiffened muscles gradually loosened up, I stared directly back to my own screens, I see patients lying comfortably in hospital beds in quarters that actually looked like hospital rooms. And to my amazement I saw a robotic nurse trying to feed a patient through his nasogastric tube. Apparently I realized that upon gazing carefully at the screen, all her activities are programmed based on the task codes I give her. It’s like she’s my clone and I’m the woman behind the computer trying to manipulate every step she does. With one touch of a button everything is done and documented. I heard my co-workers conversations that our twelve hour shift is about to end. And I realized that clinical nursing has changed so much.
I wake up to the sound of my alarm. I was transported to the future by a dream I have never envisioned. I pondered on the images I have just witnessed. Could futuristic clinical practice be anything like that? Could nurses be really in their control stations dealing with screens instead of patients? Will we lose touch of the essence of our sworn pledge based on the foundations of nursing established from the time of Florence Nightingale?
On this day and age, technology has brought great advances to science and medicine. Knowledge alongside with machinery contribute a great deal to how the world has become a better and convenient place. Recent advancements like stem cell therapy can strengthen the quality of life that most of us yearn. But with this growing advancements, we should also establish our roles as nurses in this modernizing society. Machines may aid in our major responsibilities but it should not take over our roles in curing the sick, serving humanity, and saving lives.
The great challenge for modern nursing practice will be how to preserve nursing as a caring profession. The computer age may come but our foundation as nurses should be practiced by heart. Oftentimes, with the great responsibility that nurses have, we forget to establish rapport which is supposed to be the number one step in every nurse patient relationship. We should provide holistic care pertaining not only to the physical aspect but as well as the emotional alleviation of care.
Jean Watson once wrote “Caring is the essence of nursing.” Let us preserve the very nature of our profession.