Nurses Bridge the Gap
Though the word ‘innovation’ conveys a sense of excitement related to modernization, advancement and progression, its concept has been around since the beginning of time. The most basic definition for innovation comes from Webster’s Dictionary (2013) as “a new idea, device, or method.” Innovation is defined by numerous disciplines or occupations differently, based on the particular field from which the explanations originate. An insightful and appropriate definition related to healthcare, located in current literature, is given here: “the introduction of a new concept, idea, service, process, or product aimed at improving treatment, diagnosis, education, outreach, prevention and research, and with the long term goals of improving quality, safety, outcomes, efficiency and costs” (Omachonu, Vincent and Einspruch, 2010, p. 5).
Nurses can contribute to Innovation in Health Care
Innovation is significant as it advances our world forward with technology. With health innovations continually developing, all health professionals constantly face a learning curve. Because nurses are at the forefront of patient care, they are in a position to bridge the gap between the status quo and the innovation necessary to move health care onward in an ever-evolving world. Nurses can contribute by focusing on the education of innovation in health care in three specific ways.
Nurses must stay abreast of recent innovations in healthcare including new concepts, ideas, services, processes, or products. When a new innovation is implemented in the work place, nurses must become the expert in its operation and abilities. Researching and applying evidence-based practice is an ideal way to tutor oneself in the nursing field.
Educate Patients and Families
It is vital that nurses teach patients and their families current and innovative information with regards to their health in language they can understand. Appropriate discharge training will promote self-sufficiency at home and limit readmissions (Manning, 2011). Understanding of the disease process will allow patients to prevent additional illness or complications. Topics that nurses must teach to patients and families:
The disease processes pertaining to their ailment
Use of medical equipment at home
Importance of genetic testing
Ramifications of personal health habits
Educate Other Nurses, Co-Workers
Nurses with bachelor’s degrees are often placed in positions of authority such as nurse manager. In this case, the ability to be an educator by sharing knowledge gained and instilling a motivation for learning among staff will create a stronger work force in the unit. In this way, the ability to make optimal decisions and increase ideal patient outcomes is heightened.
Concept of Knowledge Workers
In past ages, nurses were known primarily for their role as caregiver. Nurses today must modify their role from caregiver to critical thinker or more appropriately, “knowledge worker” (Conrad&...