Nurses vs. Robots: No Contest
An article about robotic technology caused a minor controversy last week when it appeared to imply that "nurse" robots could replace scrub nurses. The flurry of emails and discussion it generated illustrates the nursing profession's perception problems.
The seemingly innocuous piece discussed fascinating hand gesture recognition technology developed by Juan Pablo Wachs, assistant professor of industrial engineering, and others at Purdue University.
Visual recognition technology has previously been the purview of science fiction. With Wachs’ prototype, it's potentially a few short years away from implementation in operating rooms around the country.
The creators say the robot can recognize surgeons’ visual cues to pass instruments or recognize commands to display data during surgeries. The hope is that robots may reduce length of surgeries and potential for infection.
Robots may eventually perform some tasks now performed by scrub nurses, such as handing surgeons instruments. That’s where the debate begins. The article describes the high-tech machines as “robotic scrub nurses” and Wachs discusses the advantages the machines have over human scrub nurses when working with unfamiliar surgeons, for example.
It didn’t take long for nurses to complain to me about the use of the term “nurse” and the implications that robots could replace humans.
“There’s a lot of power in a name,” says Kathleen Bartholomew, speaker, author, consultant, and nurse. “The real problem is that the casual use of the word in this way validates what we already know—which is that the general public doesn’t know what we do.”
- The Secret to Physician Engagement? It's Not Better Pay
- Two-Midnight Rule Must be Fixed or Replaced, Say Providers
- Yale New Haven Health Partners with Tenet Healthcare in CT
- Don't Underestimate Emotional Intelligence
- Care Coordination Tough to Define, Measure
- 4 Reasons PCMH Principles Aren't Going Away
- Size Matters in Antibiotic Overuse
- Evidence-Based Practice and Nursing Research: Avoiding Confusion
- CDC Warns of Antibiotic Overuse in Hospitals
- SCOTUS Review of NC Board Case 'A Very Big Deal' to Providers