Friday, October 21, 2011

Technology And Healthcare Jobs In The 21st Century by Kathryn Dawson

Opportunities in the nursing field for persons with specialized skills in information technology abound in the 21st century. Healthcare professionals understand that technology is now a key part of every medical field, and no more so than in the field of nursing. While traditional nursing duties were mainly centered around patient care, in the modern healthcare environment nurses are expected to participate in record-keeping, data entry, and communications technology. Any nurse will tell you that they are the integral hub between doctors, administrators and patients, and need access to all the files and information required to keep each party up-to-date with the latest medical information in order to keep the hospital or healthcare office running smoothly.

While most medical offices use standardized software such as Microsoft Office, more and more applications are being developed specifically for medical office use requiring healthcare professionals, particularly nurses to obtain special training in order to function effectively in their jobs. Nursing schools have begun training prospective nurses in these applications, knowing full well that it increases the number of job options for their graduates. Though it is not only nurses affected - there are a multiplicity of jobs in hospital administration that requires software ability and knowledge. Business schools as well are keen to assure that graduates with degrees in hospital administration are up-to-date in the latest technological advancements so they will be able to do their jobs effectively.

It seems as though every area of medicine is advancing in a technologically forward manner. Surgeons use telepresence to operate on patients halfway around the world, ambulance drivers rely heavily on GPS navigation, doctors receive the latest updates on disease and treatment studies over the Internet and even patients now have unprecedented access to information about not only their condition, but treatment options, and detailed information about the various healthcare providers they're welcome to choose from.

Of course technological innovation is nothing new to the medical field. Medicine has always been at the forefront of new technology development. The modern age would hardly be possible without the discovery of nuclear radiation by two doctors, but it's medicine's accessibility and enthusiasm for exploring new developments in almost any science field in the search of new diagnostic and treatment tools that allows medicine and technology to blend so well, and to such great benefit.

The latest technology from Apple Computer, the iPad, is the latest of such technological developments and has been tested at hospitals around the United States with an eye towards making the tablet computer and indispensable piece of medical hardware at an affordable price. Numerous medical and healthcare applications have been developed for the device and the initial response from medical personnel who have used it in the field is overwhelmingly positive. The ability to carry so much information in a small package that is easily and instantly updatable through wireless networks is bound to revolutionize the way health jobs are done in the future.

Whether it's the MRI scanner, the iPad computer, GPS navigation or surgery by telepresence it seems inevitable that as technology advances medicine will advance along with it. We can only speculate what changes medicine will see in the next hundred years as technology rapidly advances while the cost of such innovation rapidly declines. What is sure however is that there will always be a place for the healthcare worker, the doctor and the medical administrator to bridge the gap between patients and the ever-expanding field of highly complex medical technology. These jobs, as we've seen in the latest economic downturn, will remain valuable and desirable throughout any social or economic climate.