One great thing about the world of medicine is that it’s always advancing. But medicine is evolving faster now than it ever has — in the next few decades, medical care will develop more than it has in the past 100 years. That’s mostly thanks to technology.
So how do medical advancements impact the world of nursing? Let’s take a look at just a few examples.
Some consider the field of microbiome health to be the next major medical frontier. Microbiome refers to the bacterial population that lives inside our bodies. Gastrointestinal health as it relates to the bacteria that lives in our stomachs and intestines is a huge area to explore, and scientists are just now beginning to understand the crucial links between the environment, the microbiome, and our health. It’s safe to assume that nurses may see a lot more importance placed on internal bacteria and the way it impacts patients’ conditions or overall health.
Another area of medicine that is growing by leaps and bounds is genetics. Genetically modified animals, foods, and even human embryos are more common than ever, and it may drastically change medicine as a whole. Some companies and scientists are aiming to use genetic technology to eliminate disease. While this may be very far off, nurses may need to become educated on the implications of genetic modification and how it can affect their patients.
Prosthetics and Bionics
Technology has made prosthetic limbs and other body parts more advanced than ever, especially with the advent of 3-D printing. Bionics is also booming, and patients without limbs or those who are completely paralyzed are able to use this technology to resume normal function again. Nurses will likely start seeing more and more prosthetic and bionic equipment in their day-to-day routines. As time goes on, it will be important for nurses to be well-versed in these areas and what kind of special care needs patients with advanced prosthetic or bionic technology might have.
Mental Health Care
Mental health is understood more deeply now than it ever has been in the past. From mental health issues like schizophrenia and depression to chronic anxiety, nurses will likely see mental and emotional support become a considerable part of their normal patient care routines.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to say exactly where the field of medicine will go and how it will impact nursing — that’s what makes it so exciting. No matter what, nurses will be on the front lines!
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