I am a nurse educator in the University hospital system in the state of New Mexico. Our nursing management is heavily supporting continuous education for nurses in our hospital. I also noticed some of the discussion related to ACA and its impact on public health and employment. My question is about educational support for the out-patient nurses and medical assistants working in the clinics.
My vision in this field is based on the following thoughts/reasons I believe is not too far: I am envisioning a sizeable number of nurses/paramedics working in the field when the focus will be more on prevention due to ACA specifications. Acute care has been evolving and it will continue to change. In-patient days are limited. Insurance companies do not pay the organization if the patient is admitted for more than the "required" days. Naturally, a pool of home health care staff need to be formed with the hospital as their base. These group of care providers will be assessing the patients at home and there has to be a way to report that back to the hospital. This process will be, in fact, a QI project as well because the team will be evaluating the prognosis of the care and also the outcome of the intervention.
I anticipate nurses being in the forefront, like any other health care field. I anticipate them using technologies- say a smart phone with the software to assess blood sugar, or cholesterol, or the patient may have very high BP.... The dicision making will have to be done then and there by these nurses. The education for these group of staff is my major concern; but at the same time, I am bringing this up for discussion as well, because some of their activities may be falling under the scope of practice, if you look at the whole picture. I believe it is good to think about it and get some ideas from different brains... so open for ideas!!!