1. Hader, Richard RN, PhD, CNA, CHE, CPHQ, Editor-in-Chief

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Sparked by a recent television advertisement marketing the latest high-tech video game system, my 6-year-old son asked me if I'd played video games "back in the old days." He listened intently as I spoke to him about growing up in the years B.C. - before clickers. He couldn't fathom not having access to DVDs, gaming systems, CD players, or a home computer. The conversation made me wonder about the discussions he'll have with his children. How will future technology change the way we live, work, communicate, and most importantly, care for each other?


"No system can endure without change," said Florence Nightengale. Advancements in technology have certainly changed our practice, enhancing how we access and interpret clinical information, helping us to make decisions with greater ease, precision, and speed. These benefits positively influence patient care, yielding shorter lengths of stay, lower complication rates, and improved functional outcomes.


Triumph over challenge

As nurse leaders, we're challenged to foster environments that balance the influx of new technology with care continuity that's delivered hands-on and compassionately. In addition to ensuring that our patients receive the art of nursing care, we must also provide a culture of caring for our colleagues.


As the holiday season approaches, we may experience a mounting sense of workplace tension. Our staff members' personal obligations become more pressing, and they may find it increasingly difficult to live a balanced life. Many nurses will work through the holidays and won't be able to share in their family's treasured traditions. Our challenge, as leaders, isn't only to recognize this increased stress, but also to help alleviate it.


Listening is one of our strongest courses of action. Allow your staff members the opportunity to verbalize their concerns without fear of reprisal. By simply listening, we can demonstrate that we support them and recognize their sacrifices.


Celebrate good times

Holidays are also a time to celebrate, so acknowledge your staff's accomplishments and contributions. Consider inviting one of your recovered patients back to discuss the high-quality care that he or she received. Provide staff members with the opportunity to reconnect with their motivation for choosing nursing as a career.


The future landscape for technology use in health care looks promising. Although advancements in biomedical technology will lead to sustained and improved health, technology will never duplicate nurses' compassion and human touch. The responsibility for personal, exceptional mentoring and visionary leadership rests with us, to ensure that our staff grows.


We can only provide the gift of leadership to our staff if we, too, have reconnected with our core values and commitment to nursing. During this holiday season, reflect on the gifts you give. It's through your work that others can maximize their ability to combine the use of technology with daily practice.