Ai To Replace Nurses
ai is coming for your job Board of Nursing
The October 2023 issue of the Texas Board of Nursing Bulletin features an article titled “Ready or Not: AI is Coming,” shedding light on the potential integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the nursing profession. The article discusses how AI is not merely supplementing the work of nurses but is poised to replace them in various historical nursing roles and responsibilities. This article provides an overview of the key points raised in the original article and highlights concerns surrounding the use of AI in nursing,
This article provides an overview of the key points raised in the original article concerning the use of AI in replacing those nurses who have left the bedside because of untenable and unsafe working conditions, mostly related to overly burdensome and overly acute nurse-to-patient-ratios.
AI in Nursing: A Comprehensive Review
The original article is well-structured and extensively referenced, exploring different AI modules and their applications within the clinical setting. It emphasizes the incorporation of AI to perform traditional nursing tasks, assessments, and patient monitoring. The article’s foundation is based on peer-reviewed literature, though it is important to note the absence of large-scale, multi-facility, and long-term studies examining the safety and efficacy of advanced AI in acute care settings.
Addressing the Nursing Shortage
One of the pressing issues discussed is the shortage of nurses and the urgent need for AI to bridge this gap. It acknowledges that many experienced and specialty-trained nurses are not returning to the clinical environment, but it does not delve into the reasons behind their departure. The article raises concerns about the use of AI as a potential band-aid solution to the nurse shortage, suggesting that AI cannot replace the invaluable experience, education, training, and intuition of seasoned nurses.
Remote Patient Monitoring
The article highlights the use of AI for remote patient monitoring, encompassing the ability to track vital signs and changes in patient conditions from a distance. It provides examples of remote monitoring tools, including blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, cardiac event recorders, positive airway pressure machines, and physical activity trackers. However, it emphasizes that AI may not detect subtle changes in a patient’s condition, such as alterations in sensorium, skin color, respirations, or neurological signs, which are typically within the purview of nurses. It is the special, well developed skills and instinct of nurses that pick up on these subtle cues and changes.
AI Algorithms and Nurse Decision-Making
Another application of AI discussed in the article is using algorithms to guide nurses in decision-making. The article voices concerns about this approach, stating that nurses are educated to use critical thinking and evidence-based practices. Nurses are not technologists who rely solely on computer outputs; they have an independent duty to their patients and a responsibility to advocate for their well-being.
The Real Problem: Unsafe Work Environments
While acknowledging that nurses need assistance with non-nursing tasks, the article argues that nurses are not seeking relief from patient care responsibilities. Instead, they desire support with ancillary duties, such as secretarial work, housekeeping, medical technician tasks, and cost-capturing responsibilities. The underlying issue, as emphasized, is unsafe work environments, characterized by unreasonable patient-to-nurse ratios and a lack of a safety culture.
The Role of Boards of Nursing and Professional Organizations
The article calls for Boards of Nursing, Professional Nursing Organizations, and Corporate Healthcare Organizations to address the root problem rather than seeking workarounds. It emphasizes that thousands of nurses have left clinical settings due to safety concerns, and these organizations should advocate for safer conditions to protect nurses’ licenses.
Conclusion: AI Integration in Nursing
In conclusion, the original article “Ready or Not: AI is Coming” raises critical concerns about the rapid integration of artificial intelligence into the nursing profession. While acknowledging the undeniable benefits of AI in healthcare, it underscores the importance of treading cautiously and considering the broader implications. The article correctly highlights the urgency of addressing the nursing shortage but falls short in addressing the reasons behind experienced nurses leaving the clinical setting. It emphasizes that the crisis extends beyond numerical shortages and is rooted in unsafe work environments and a lack of a safety culture.
Source: Texas Board of Nursing Bulletin