A CALL FOR INCREASED TECHNOLOGICAL AWARENESS AMONG AFRICAN NURSES
Telemedicine can be defined as the exchange of medical information via electronic communication to improve a patients or clients clinical health status. Technology is bringing a lot of innovations in every aspect of human endeavor. You either join the trend or be left in the darkness.
Through telemedicine, a click can bring resource persons and resourcesful materials together to fill in a knowledge gab and provide the required experience and expertise which might not be available at a particular health facility, but are seriously needed to address a clinical condition . These is a wonderful innovation and a development we must cheerfully embrace in Africa where clinical evidence is usually not readily available for so many factors. A hospital in Kenya can receive nursing and medical lessons, advice or directive from a hospital in Sidney, Australia and vice versa .
Examples of Telemedicine Application:
|Radiology consultations; post-surgical monitoring; triage of emergency patients
Continuing medical education programmes; online information and education resources; individual mentoring and instruction
Online help service for patients with long-term conditions
Aggregation of data from multiple sites; conducting and coordinating research at multiple sites
Access to care for disadvantaged groups; poison control centres; reporting
Video conferences for managers of integrated health systems; quality monitoring
Telehealth nursing model;
Today , our health facilities are suffering from poor evidence-based professional skills in the management of chronic conditions. We can also talk about pre and post operative management and all forms of emergency and critical care nursing. How can nurses in Africa utilize the modern technological advancement to improve their clinical, research and leadership performance ?
Telemedicine seminar and workshop is currently going on across African countries through an African/European partnership . Unfortunately, while doctors , physio-therapies, pharmacist etc are rushing for space in this programs, nurses are nowhere to be found. In Nigeria for instance, the questions nurses usually ask are very ridiculous. Here them:
- Can we use the “certificate to renew our license”?
- Will they give “me visa to travel to Europe if I attend the seminar ” ?
- Will they employ me after the seminar ?
These questions are indeed very disturbing. It portrays the narrow mindset and shortsightedness of majority of our colleagues. No interest in the content, personal growth, innovative and creative thinking, value promotion etc. Most of us are so naive and uninformed that a billion dollar opportunity can be delivered to our doorstep, only for us to kick it away because we cannot make any sense out of it.
One of the major cause of poverty and limited exposure among African Nurses is that they do not commit their earnings to personal development .They would rather remain in their narrow hospital wards than attend health conferences and events where participant gets networked and acquainted with current development and emerging opportunities in the health sector. Nurses must understand that this is 21st century, information is wealth. We must overcome this counterproductive/self destructive stinginess and commit our resources towards exposures that will put us in the forefront of every latest development and opportunities. Why spend so much on ordinary social activities while you only need half of it to give yourself and your family a better life. That does not mean that your life automatically changes when you attend a health program. It simply means that your value increases as you invest in knowledge and exposure. One day, your content will bring a mouth-watering opportunity your way because you have many thing to offer to healthcare system. Therefore as a nurse, please endeavor to ask yourself this honest question;
“what do I have to offer my profession , the health sector and the society as a whole in the 21st century”
Lead Nurse African have made effort to bring some of this programs home. Organizers of telemedicine workshops have left some slots for nurses on a condition that we advertise for them free of charge . We advertised the upcoming Telemedicine conference in Lagos in our home page, Click on the link on top of this page or visit our homepage and register. Good Luck.
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