In this era of increasing medical technology, changing modes of communication and the expansion of nursing professional roles, ethical, legal and social issues in nursing are increasing. Nurses operate in situations that put them under ethical, legal and social challenges on a daily basis. These issues are linked to legislative changes and ethics of medical technologies geared towards helping nurses to provide better healthcare, for patients. They govern issues of confidentiality, practice, medical issues and the expectations the society has put on nurses. The nursing profession has had radical development and change since its inception. Technology has contributed much to the development of nursing as a profession
Changing societal population demographics, the increase of complex knowledge in healthcare and increasing gaps in the nursing profession have made healthcare professionals and managers to call for an overhaul of the healthcare system (Cowen & Moorhead, 2006). Most recommendations advocating for change in nursing profession propose an increased use of technology that can make nursing practice more efficient. Information technology has the capacity to perform more than simple efficiency increase. Information technology is viewed as a part of the change in healthcare delivery as opposed to the automation of existing processes. This means that it has the potential to change nursing processes within institutions and create a favorable care relationship between nurses and patients. The adoption of technology in the nursing profession, specifically, within the workplace has been possible because of the interactions between technical skills, workplace culture and social support. Nursing requires information technology to promote the adoption of certain current technologies and shape their design (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2011).
In the healthcare domain, information technology refers to computer-based systems that offer assistance in the management and processing of information that help in the support of health care and delivery. It encompasses systems for clinical planning, care delivery, handling of patient records, patient education, healthcare research and diagnostics and therapeutics (Cowen & Moorhead, 2006). An example of a current information technology use in the nursing profession involves the use of computers by nurses, in their workplace. Most nurse-work related responsibilities and issues are handled by computer advanced and related technologies. Nurses use electronic means to save patient health records (Cowen & Moorhead, 2006).
In the previous years, nurses used to record patient health records on paper documents and file them. This tiresome and bulky procedure wasted a lot of time especially when searching for specific information about a certain patient (Ball, 2010). However, information technology has provided an adequate way that has provided nurses with an easy way, to record patient data. Nurses use the computer to save...