Boise State University Nursing School Integrates Virtual Care into Curriculum for Future Healthcare

As a result of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been significant technological advancements in the field of healthcare, particularly in the realm of virtual care. Because of the proliferation of telehealth, it is now more important than ever for medical professionals to have a solid understanding of the technology behind virtual care. Because of this, nursing schools are starting to teach their students about virtual care as part of their curriculum in order to better prepare them for the future of the healthcare industry. This article discusses the work that the simulation research team from the School of Nursing at Boise State University has been doing to incorporate virtual care into nursing simulations, as well as the positive response that they have received from faculty.

The research team recently published an article stating that nursing faculty at Boise State University recognize the significance of virtual care in the field of healthcare and are in favor of incorporating it into the nursing curriculum. The members of the teaching staff are aware of the significance of providing students with instruction in the use of virtual care technologies in order to adequately prepare them for the evolving nature of the healthcare environment. However, the faculty members acknowledged that they lacked experience with virtual care and would require additional training in order to effectively teach it.

This need for training is being addressed by the research team at Boise State University, which is imagining various training methods such as didactic content, simulations, and curriculum revision in order to meet this need. Because of these efforts, faculty members will be able to become more skilled in providing students with virtual care and effectively teach students. A clinical assistant professor named Jason Blomquist, a clinical associate professor named Darci McCall, the director of simulation-based education and research named Kelley Connor, an associate professor named Cara Gallegos, and a professor emeritus named Janet Reis are all members of the research team.

According to Blomquist, who has worked as the director of telehealth services at St. Luke’s Medical Center for the past three years, virtual care technology encompasses a great deal more than simply engaging in a video call with a healthcare provider. He explains that nursing and other provider groups are increasingly turning to virtual care as a workforce aid, particularly in light of the current shortage in hospital systems. Virtual care is becoming increasingly popular. Blomquist uses the example of a virtual nurse who assists a real-life bedside nurse with tasks such as admissions and rounding in order to illustrate the concept. Students need to be familiarized with these contemporary modes of labor in order for them to be adequately prepared for entering the workforce.

In her work at St. Luke’s Hospital, where she interacts with recent nursing school graduates from a variety of nursing schools, McCall emphasizes the importance of students having knowledge of telehealth technologies. She makes the observation that many nursing students are unaware of telehealth or how it can make their lives easier once they begin working at St. Luke’s. They become excited, however, when the telehealth teams come in and talk to them about what St. Luke’s is doing with telehealth and how they can use it in their roles as nurses. McCall stresses the importance of incorporating telehealth into the nursing curriculum, stating that doing so will assist students in becoming more aware of what they are getting themselves into, and that doing so is a necessary step.

The instruction of students in the use of virtual healthcare technology should ultimately lead to their becoming proficient in said technology and to the seamless integration of such technology with high-quality nursing care. This process of integrating technology into healthcare has been going on for several years, during which time many healthcare providers have made the transition to using electronic health records and telehealth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this transition, with telehealth visits surging from 14% of primary care visits in February 2020 to 67% in April 2020. This growth occurred from 14% of telehealth visits in February 2020. (CDC). These statistics demonstrate the critical importance of virtual care in the healthcare industry; as a result, nursing students need to be trained in how to use it to provide quality care to patients.

According to a report by Grand View Research, the global market for telemedicine is anticipated to reach $191.7 billion by the year 2025, expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 25.1%. As a result of this growth, virtual care technology is likely here to stay and will continue to play an increasingly important role in the healthcare industry. As a result, it is essential to train nursing students in the technology of virtual care in order to both prepare them for the shifting landscape of the healthcare industry and ensure that they will provide quality care to patients.

In conclusion, the efforts of the simulation research team within the School of Nursing at Boise State University to incorporate virtual care into nursing simulations and the nursing curriculum is a step towards preparing nursing students for the future of healthcare. Because the faculty recognizes the significance of virtual care, and because the research team is making an effort to educate them about it, they will be able to teach the students more effectively. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual care technology in the healthcare industry, which highlights the need to train nursing students in its use. Virtual care technology has been used more frequently in recent years. It is essential to provide nursing students with the necessary skills to provide quality patient care in a healthcare environment that is constantly changing in order to prepare them for the anticipated growth of the global market for telemedicine.

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