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One advantage of technology in this setting use of the internet for patients to retrieve provider recommended information and further education through visual demonstrations and subject matter. This may include videos of the prenatal period as well as caring for the infant after birth. Other advantages are diagnostics and imaging.  The parents of an unborn child are able to see more details during an ultrasound, and because of advances, a trained professional can detect abnormalities in early stages of pregnancy.  With advancements in imaging, fewer invasive procedures may be required to effectively monitor, diagnose, and treat.  These advantages are aesthetically pleasing for parents and families as well as useful in early detection and planning early treatment for the best possible outcome (Khong & Malcomson, 2015). 

One disadvantage in the perinatal setting is over use of continuous fetal monitoring during labor. This practice was implemented before experts could complete research as to level of authenticity and accuracy of output from monitors (Gaikwad, 2013).  Inaccurate readings, indicating a problem with the fetus, when there may be no problem at all may be an issue for unnecessary measures taken with the unborn and stress on the parent’s during this time of labor and delivery (American Academy of Nursing, 2015).  Lack of fetal monitoring or inaccuracies while being monitored can lead to complications such as hypoxia during birth (Kellen, 2014).

A second disadvantage in this setting is that advances in technology risk loss of personalized care. With the use of monitors, advanced diagnostic technologies and laboratories to define the current status of the patient, there is less required of the RN in critical thinking.  For example, monitoring a patient’s vital signs, is often done with automated systems recorded electronically, whereas when a manual system is used, the RN is taking more time with the patient.  There are observations that can be made and conversations with patient that enable the RN to get her know her patient and give the quality of time and personalized care needed.  It is the duty of the RN to identify “actual or potential risks” of her patient through conducting regular assessments of physical and mental health, as well as provide a culturally friendly environment (ANA, 2015).

The RN will ensure equipment used to monitor, it used correctly and that there has been education provided with a competency evaluation to ensure accurate and timely follow up of abnormal indicators (ANA, 2015). To address the second disadvantage, the RN must be competent to recognize whether any type of alarm or monitoring system is functioning correctly and ensure settings are appropriate for the patient using a patient centered approach (QSEN, 2014). This includes data collection on baselines for vital signs and laboratory values. The RN should be able to confirm the results by frequent follow up of clinical correlation. A personalized approach not only to the patient’s baseline, but also to being present for the patient to allow and encourage questions and expression of concerns. Potential risks and complications will be identified in the initial and ongoing assessment and evaluation process to ensure the highest standard ensuring quality care is provided.

References

American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and standards of Practice (3rd ed.).

Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/scopeandstandardsofpractice

Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring. (2015). American Academy of Nursing. Retrieved from

http://www.aannet.org/initiatives/choosing-wisely/electronic-fetal-heart-rate-monitoring

Gaikwad, M. (2013). Evidence summary: Fetal heart rate monitoring. Joanna Briggs

            Institute Evidence Summaries. Retrieved from http://ovidsp.tx.ovid.com.ezp2.lib.umn.edu

Kellen, T. (2014). External fetal monitoring. Retrieved from

http://pregnancy.familyeducation.com/signs-and-stages-of-labor/monitoring-during-

            labor/66198.html

Khong, T., Malcomson, R., (2015). Keeling’s Fetal and Neonatal Pathology. (5th ed.). doi

1.01007/978-3-319-19207-9

QSEN Institute, (2014). PreLicensure KSAS. Retrieved from http://qsen.org/competencies/pre-

licensureksas