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Embrace technology but don’t lose touch with patients: academics

Nurses have seen the value of touch and must keep it in mind as healthcare technology advances.

This was one of the key messages Australian academics made in a recent editorial in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

They wrote that the increasing use of a variety of technological supports for nursing work may be coming at the expense of offering a comforting touch to patients.

While the authors said they are proponents of the use of technology, they said nurses must pay careful attention to how to best augment and integrate technology into practice without risking the interpersonal relationship at the heart of their work.

“In embedding technology in nursing practice, it is imperative that we consider how this impacts on nurse-patient relationships,” they wrote. “We must not lose touch.”

Nursing Review sat down with lead author of the editorial Sue Dean, a lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney, to discuss the ways touch can affect a patient and how nurses can ensure they aren’t losing touch.

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