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My Story as a Digital Nurse

I'm Siege Manto, a Digital Nurse at one of London's leading virtual hospitals. Our pioneering facility serves patients from the four major trusts in Northwest London.

My typical day in the Virtual Ward

My day begins with a thorough review of my patients. Through digital health platforms, I access electronic health records, medication histories, and care plans, gaining a comprehensive understanding of each patient's story. With this information, I initiate virtual reviews of my patients. If I see that there are concerning vital signs and/or symptoms, I contact them and discuss symptom management, review treatment protocols, or provide emotional reassurance, and if needed, escalate them to the clinical team or 999.

Throughout the day, I collaborate closely with multidisciplinary healthcare teams, including physicians, pharmacists, and allied health professionals. Through secure digital communication channels, we exchange vital information, discuss patient progress, and coordinate care plans, ensuring seamless continuity of care across various healthcare settings.

Occasionally, I visit hospitals to on-board patients onto digital platforms or to shadow specialist nurses to gain experience as I recently completed my Heart Failure Course at the University.

My Career Journey

Choosing digital nursing was more than just a career decision. It was a convergence of my passion for computers and technology with my dedication to the nursing profession. It allowed me to merge my love for computers and technology with my role as a nurse, ultimately enabling me to make a tangible difference in the lives of those I care for.

I came across the job advertisement while browsing our Trust Intranet page. Intrigued by the job description, I felt a strong resonance with the role and promptly submitted my application. Eager to learn more about the position and showcase my enthusiasm, I arranged a site visit where I engaged in a fruitful discussion with the lead nurse, expressing my genuine passion and keen interest in becoming part of the team.

After patiently awaiting news, I received an email a month later, informing me that I had been shortlisted for an interview. Determined to excel, I dedicated myself to studying digital nursing concepts and refreshing my nursing knowledge. Two days following the interview, I was thrilled to receive an offer for the position, and I am delighted to share that I achieved outstanding scores during the interview process.

What does it take to be a Digital Nurse?

Digital nursing encompasses various roles, with distinctions between patient monitoring and non-patient monitoring. Currently, I specialize in the monitoring aspect, focusing on the vigilant oversight of patient health indicators and data.

As a digital nurse on the patient monitoring side, proficiency in both nursing practice and technology is essential. Strong assessment skills are vital as you conduct virtual patient assessments using digital health platforms and over the telephone. Effective communication is essential as you collaborate with diverse medical professionals within the team. Given the specialised nature of the role, autonomy in decision-making and work execution is also crucial.

The Challenges of My Role

Digital nurses encounter numerous challenges inherent to remote patient care. Limitations on physical assessment pose a primary hurdle, as we rely on verbal cues and visual assessments instead of hands-on examinations, potentially compromising depth and accuracy.

Technological glitches, such as connectivity issues and equipment failures, further disrupt patient care and communication. Moreover, bridging the digital divide is crucial, as not all patients have equal access to or familiarity with technology, necessitating alternative methods of engagement.

Effective communication within healthcare teams and with patients is also important but can be hindered by the virtual environment, leading to misinterpretation or delayed responses. Additionally, maintaining patient engagement remotely demands innovative strategies, while data security concerns underscore the need for stringent protocols.

Balancing work-life boundaries, fostering collaboration, and addressing these challenges necessitate a blend of technological proficiency, communication skills, and dedication to patient-centred care.

My Future Plan and Advice to Fellow Nurses

I am actively building my expertise through hands-on experience and additional courses pertinent to my profession. My aspirations involve advancing into a nursing informatics role or a CNS role that is related to digital nursing. However, I must admit that I find immense satisfaction in my current position, and I have no complaints whatsoever. Not to mention, I earn more.

To secure a job, you must actively pursue opportunities. For nurses eyeing digital nursing roles, here's concise advice: Start by understanding the digital healthcare landscape and role specifics. Sharpen your tech skills with software and telehealth knowledge. Prioritize strong virtual communication abilities. Consider doing bank shifts within your trust for experience. This will give you an edge! Tailor your application to highlight tech and nursing expertise. Approach the process with confidence and passion.

Once in the role, embrace each day as a learning opportunity, focusing on understanding job functions and policies. Remember, you truly grasp a job only by doing it.



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