Nursing Is&#x2026;, Texting Improves Care
Julie DeHaan and Pamela K. Friesen are affiliated with the Department of Nursing at Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
DEVOTIONAL: Nursing Is…
by Leanne Craig, nursing student at the Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.
I believe that nursing is more than just an occupation of monotonous tasks. It is more than charts and syringes. Nursing reaches beyond the linen sheets of the hospital bed and involves more than physician orders and lab results. I believe nursing is a calling requiring a compassionate, self-sacrificing person with a big heart. Nursing requires a mountain of patience and an ocean of strength. It is not the job of the weak or the average person. Being a nurse takes strength in intellect, emotions, and physicality. Nursing is an occupation of service that requires a servant's heart. It is a continuation of the work that Jesus began thousands of years ago. Nurses are the hands and feet of Christ in the lives of everyone for whom they provide care.
Nursing has the eternal goal of health and healing, not only of the physical body but also of the heart, mind, spirit, relationships, and life as a whole. It involves giving holistic care. This is demonstrated as a hand being held through a painful procedure, a smile while wiping a wrinkled bottom, a hug after losing a loved one, a high five for enduring an injection, a handshake sealing a crisis prevention agreement, a great sigh when the labs are negative, a gasp when the tiniest miracle emerges and takes its first breath of life. Nursing tackles the good and the bad with full, unfaltering force. Nursing provides strength for the vulnerable patient on which to lean. It allows them to put a bend in the ear, a tug on the heart, a pain in the back, and a challenge on the mind. It provides a constant challenge of growth, endurance, and betterment. It is a heart softener and self-motivator. Nursing not only changes the patient's life, but changes the nurse as well. Nursing is leading, learning, listening, and loving. It is being able to care for every patient, whether big or small, old or young, needy or content, angry or elated. Nursing allows you to know that in some way, small or great, you have made a difference.
TEXTING—Shorthand for the 21st Century
Texting continues to be a popular communication tool. You are likely familiar with the common acronyms that communicate favorite phrases, such as: LOL—laugh out loud; TTYL—talk to you later; YW—you're welcome; BRB—be right back; OMW—on my way; and BTW—by the way.
As the older generation adapts to this new technology, they have developed some acronyms of their own. Perhaps you're not as familiar with these: ATD—at the doctor; AHSYAH—Ambulance here, see you at hospital; LOL—low oxygen level; BFF—best friend fell; BTW—bring the wheelchair; SM—senior moment; and GGPBL—gotta go, pacemaker battery low.
For more geriatric texting acronyms, go to http://www.crackhospital.com/2012/02/01/geriatrics-guide-to-texting-medical-humor-medfunny-texting-tweeting-funny/
TEXTING IMPROVES PATIENT CARE
As we continue to look for ways to improve patient outcomes, texting should be considered a valuable tool. Various studies have demonstrated that texting patients can improve adherence with appointments, scheduled blood work, medication use, and blood sugar monitoring. At the same time, texting can be a time-saving communication method for nurses and patients and decrease the possibility of breeches in confidentiality, since fewer phone messages need to be left (Ludlow, Hurley, & Dolwani, 2009).
As future nurses, we need to persist in generating new ideas to incorporate technology to better our patients' health!
Ludlow, H., Hurley, J., & Dolwani, S. (2009, July 15). Nursing practice—Healthcare IT. Retrieved from http://www.nursingtimes.net/nursing-practice/healthcare-it/using-email-and-text-messaging-to-remind-patients-to-have-blood-monitoring-test/5004082.article