Technology has touched every aspect of life over the past few decades. It has reshaped how we conduct business, entertain ourselves and stay in touch with our friends. It has revolutionized healthcare, changing how we train for healthcare careers and how we take care of patients.
Before the advent of online schools, one had to either move to be near a healthcare training school or find one within commutable distance. Today, it is possible to take a class or earn a healthcare degree from anywhere in the world that has a reliable internet connection.
Students are often able to complete coursework requirements around their work schedules and family commitments, making online schooling a convenient choice.
Moreover, since online education connects current and future healthcare professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, there’s an opportunity to connect with different perspectives, skill sets, and backgrounds.
Simulation Manikins and Experiences
Whether a program is online or in-person, technology routinely provides students with simulated experiences that give them a much more realistic preview of clinical scenarios than is possible to obtain from merely reading a textbook.
Simulation manikins are manikins outfitted with special sensors, speakers and pulsating silicone “flesh.” Pulse rate, lung sounds and other variables can be changed via computer as students examine their “patient.”
Completely virtual simulations are also used to mimic real time experiences and body sounds frequently encountered in clinical practice. Preparing in a technology-rich environment is also solid preparation for accurately and efficiently monitoring patient health status using the monitors, machines and programs that are now the standard in patient care.
Technology is so central to patient care that it has even spawned a field of its own. Healthcare informatics is the analysis and improvement of the ways in which health information is obtained and used in relation to medicine.
Health informatics specialists design, implement, evaluate and research patient care data systems, specializing in tasks including database design, data analysis, programing and strategic planning. With a healthcare informatics degree, one can work in a variety of different health-related jobs.
Technology has done more than substantially change the way healthcare training and patient care are delivered. It has broadened the definition of healthcare to include the impact of data collection, resulting in new opportunities in healthcare informatics.
Educating yourself on the impact technology has had on healthcare and healthcare careers will help you stay up to date on current industry practices.