Shannon Christian

In this weekly blog, staff reporter Shannon Christian writes about the myths of healthcare and how it impacts students.

Dr. Germ: Dr. Robot

Medicine centers around the human body and treating it when functions are impeded by systemic issues. Whenever thinking of healthcare, or caring for others, many immediately think of people helping other people. The new age of medicine, however, includes immense technology, in addition to hands-on care. 

In a routine sense, when stepping into a physician’s clinic, or even a hospital, many steps to being treated are digitized. Booking your appointment, being scanned in, and the machinery to check vitals are all standard technology that most everyone who has ever been treated has experienced at a medical facility. 

In the more complex, and higher-intensity treatments, such as surgeries or life sustaining processes like intubation, rely on technology as the basis of patient care. Routine procedures such as colonoscopies utilize a scope, which essentially is a wire with a camera at the end to examine a patient’s gastrointestinal tract. Once the procedure is complete, if the patient needs further treatment such as the removal of their gallbladder, a cholecystectomy, this is done laparoscopically. This means only three small (one inch) incisions are made into their abdomen, one for a scope, one for the main cutting instrument, and one to retrieve any tissue for removal. This method of surgery revolutionizes patient care in that there is easier recovery and less chance of infection than with a normal abdominal procedure using a 6 to 12 inch incision. 

In addition to technology related to procedures, technology is vastly important in patient care in respect to patient record keeping. Electronic charting, using Electrical Medical Records (EMR) allows for patients’ conditions to be constantly monitored and updated. Even if a patient were to relocate across the globe, documentation of their medical history would be able to follow them and provide necessary information regarding their health. This is especially beneficial in critical care conditions when a patient’s every change in condition must be acknowledged. 

In rotating through hospitals during an era of immense technological advancement, technology has not caused patient care to feel more artificial, or disconnected from human connection. Technology in the healthcare setting has allowed for patients to receive the most advanced and specialized care possible. 

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