How to bring caring to the high-tech bedside
Helene D. Winstanley MS, RN, ANP-C, CCRN

February 2014 
Volume 44  Number 2
Pages 60 - 63
  PDF Version Available!

WITH I.V. PIGGYBACK MEDICATIONS dangling from the I.V. pole attachment, the computer screen glowing brightly on top, and protected items tucked into cubbies, the "cart" (as I call it) rolled into my patient's room with me right behind it. "Hello, Mr. C! My name is Helene," I said, then finished introducing myself. I was ready.The mobile nursing workstation, as the cart is formally called, was brimming with supplies, with medications in the drawers and essential patient identifiers easily visible on the screen. Holding a scanner in my hand, I was ready to administer medications.My patient, an alert and oriented older man, stared intently and gestured toward the cart. "What's all this?"The cart is taller than I am, so I had to peek around it to see his face. I'd bumped it against the wall and the end of the bed as I'd tried to navigate it into the room. Most likely, the room wasn't designed with this in mind. I heaved a sigh of relief that his visitors hadn't yet arrived because I doubted they'd fit around the cart. His eight morning medications were due, I'd just finished report, and my cart and I were meeting Mr. C for the first time. What an entrance!This article explains some advantages these high-tech but potentially intimidating carts offer and suggests some ways to keep the caring in nursing while using them. No matter where you work in nursing or how comfortable you are with new technology, you'll want to help your patients feel cared for.Electronic health records (EHRs) are being implemented at a dizzying pace, and nurses like me have been working hard to catch up before the implementation deadline.1 The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is influencing healthcare facilities and providers to adopt EHRs. HITECH ties specific effective utilization criteria with financial incentives and time-sensitive deadlines.1These computers and the carts to which they're attached are

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