Mapping select theoretical and empirical contributions to understanding the relationship between caring in nursing and technology




McFadden, Janice

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Although there is a long history of technology used in the healthcare environment, recent advances in healthcare technology, as well as the visibility of the technology at the patient’s bedside, have initiated a debate about how technology today impacts the nurse-patient relationship. The opinions range from one group that views technology as important in creating a safe and efficient environment for patients, to another group that believes technology interferes with a nurse’s ability to maintain caring therapeutic relationships with her or his patient. The ongoing inability to define who nurses are and what we do is highlighted as I explore the relationship between caring in nursing and technology in the clinical setting. This literature review, using the hermeneutic approach, has given me the opportunity to move through iterative cycles, gaining insight into my topic and clarifying information while raising more questions to be answered. As a result, other explanations emerge as to why technology and caring at present coexist in what at times appears to be an adversarial relationship. It is clear that more research into this topic is needed to help nurses achieve the balance between therapeutic caring relationships with their patients while meeting the challenges that technology creates in this environment.



Nursing, Caring, Technology, Hermeneutic framework