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Being a nurse can be quite a difficult job on its own. 

This is especially true on busy days, when it can be a balancing act going from patient to patient with little to no downtime in between. 

Even during more slow shifts, there are often lives on the line that depend on nurses to do good work. As a result, the job is inherently high-pressure. 

To provide assistance to the nurses of the world, which is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses in the United States, healthcare providers are implementing artificial intelligence in hospital settings.

Below, we cover the implications of A.I. in the field of nursing along with some specific applications. 

A.I. and Nursing

Traditionally, the nurse is seen in the assistant role in relation to the licensed medical doctors on staff. 

Of course, their role really goes beyond the level of an assistant to an authority, for nurses have plenty of tasks that they are in charge of themselves when caring for those in states of unhealth. 

To manage their workload, nurses could use assistants of their own, which are now coming in the form of artificial intelligence. 

The potential impact here is to give nurses more time for rest and more intensive tasks during the workday. It can also assist them in keeping patients safe and sound during a shift. 

Keep reading for some of the biggest applications that A.I. can have on the field of nursing. 

Monitoring Patients

This one can be major for saving lives. 

Traditionally, the nurses would check in on certain patients during a shift, on a rotating schedule. 

Technology like the “help” button would give the patient the wherewithal to notify the nurses in case something went wrong. That is all fine and dandy, unless the problem inhibited the patient from notifying the nurse. 

If someone was in the room with the patient, then that person could notify the medical staff. However, that is not always the case, which is why A.I. has the potential to create a much more comprehensive patient-monitoring setup in the hospital setting. 

A.I.’s predictive power can also well predict whether or when a problem may occur before it actually occurs, which can let medical staff attend to the patient with preventative measures. 

Workflow Structuring

A sophisticated patient monitoring system in real time can lead to the automation of structuring a nurse’s daily schedule, optimizing workflow so that the most at-risk patients are taken care of in a timely manner. 

Automating Busywork

At the moment, A.I.-powered robots are being developed to do things like transport patients and deliver food and drink in hospital settings, which can free up nurses to focus on the higher-priority life-and-death tasks that may be on the to-do list. 

Answering Patient Questions with Automated Answers

Many nurses can probably relate to the issue of telling a patient something, such as the time of an upcoming surgery, then that patient repeating it. 

The next time the nurse is in the room, the question is asked yet again. 

The patient may even summon the nurse with a “Help”-button push to get this info. 

A.I. can help change this phenomenon by offering patients quick answers to such easy questions, freeing nurses up to focus on bigger tasks at hand. 

A chatbot can incorporate information about a scheduled meal time or doctor’s rounds to quickly offer this info to a patient. 

This way, patients and nurses alike can be satisfied in knowing that the patient can get the answers that are needed as soon as the question is asked. 

Diagnosing Issues

Image-recognition A.I. can help nurses identify potential issues on the spot. 

Suppose a patient wakes up in the hospital bed with a mysterious, sudden rash. 

The nurse can upload an image of the rash to an A.I. diagnosis tool to get a quick answer as to what it may be. 

This can put the nurse in the right mindset for when the doctor is summoned, doing any necessary preparations for treatment so that it can be readily performed once the doctor confirms the condition. 

In this case, then, A.I. helps nurses stay ahead of an issue and address problems with greater speed. 

Closing Thoughts

Artificial intelligence will have many uses in healthcare. Even doctors can benefit from things like summarizing patient visits and getting a “second opinion” via an A.I. diagnosis. 

But it is nurses who may have the most uses to get out of A.I., given the widespread nursing shortage in the U.S.A. 

If these A.I. solutions work as well as promised, then it is not just the nurses who will benefit here, but the patients as well. 

It remains to be seen just how far A.I. will be able to go in improving the healthcare experience in hospitals.