10 Basic Tech Skills Every Registered Nurse Should Have |5 minutes read | Ayinla Daniel. RN

Tianyi Ma| https://unsplash.com/@tma

Welcome to the 21st century, where technology does it all, and if you are the registered nurse who is technophobic, then I think you do not want to enjoy this age, you may as well go back to the past, and help Nightingale hold her lamps.

In this article, I write about ten basic technological skills that every registered nurse of the 21st century should have (it also applies to our older nurses, if they want to follow the trend).

I will not tell you to learn how to programme or learn Python or SQL, or how to make a computer, I will just open your eyes to some very basic things that you should know if you want your skill as a registered nurse to be better appreciated by all those you come by, especially in this age – the computer and data age and if you are interested in touching more lives! Besides, who isn’t interested in touching more lives?

These skills are not only required of Registered Nurses, but Physicians, Pharmacists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and anyone who is interested in Health-Tech.

Now, let’s dive in…

Here is a list of the basic tech skills we will be considering in this article:

  1. Basic Word Processor Skills.
  2. Basic Social Media Skills.
  3. Basic Emailing Skills.
  4. Basic Use of Search Engines.
  5. Basic Knowledge About Backup (Data Knowledge).
  6. Basic Knowledge About Common & General Operating Systems.
  7. Basic Knowledge About EMR (Electronic Medical Record).
  8. Technical Writing Skills.
  9. Basic Information Management Skills.
  10. Basic Blogging Skills (my favourite).

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• Basic Word Office Skills: What comes to your mind when you come across the words “word processor?” Erm, let me guess, oh, yes, Microsoft word, right? Yes, Microsoft word. Microsoft word is at the apex when it comes to the word business, but do you know that there is so much more you can do with Microsoft Word? While Excel is dedicated to spreadsheets and data arrangements, PowerPoint, on the other hand, is dedicated to creating presentations. You should or must be able to manipulate these applications, not at an advance level, but at a basic level. At least, you should be able to create simple documents, organise a spreadsheet, and develop a simple presentation.

Not hard right? And if you feel you you need to develop these skills, then, I can recommend UDEMY courses, if you think UDEMY courses are not easy for you to understand, then wait for Care City to launch her Digital Literacy Academy, Care Code, dedicated to exposing Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals to the joy of Digital Life.

Take note, you must also work on your typing skill (touch typing and keyboard shortcuts), it’s an added advantage.

• Basic Social Media Skills: Social media has evolved to become an integral part of our daily living and surprisingly our businesses. If your business is not on social media today, you are considered handicapped. If you are not on social media today, you are not connected to the world. The internet has made the world a digital village. Interaction among people of different nations is easier, as compared to the era of telegraphs.

Large conglomerates now depend on social media, small stores, somewhere in the villages, are now opening Facebook pages and advertising their local services. Do not be left behind.

You should have heard of Facebook (with about 1.2 billion users, that’s a whole lot), Twitter (about 200 million users, that’s almost the population of Nigeria), Pinterest, WhatsApp, and a whole lot of other platforms that make it super easy for you to connect to the world. And mind you, there are basic uses of these platforms and also advance uses.

Many of us stop at “semi-basic” use; we come online, check other peoples profiles, read one or two funny videos, spend some Megabytes and ‘zoom’, we are done!

The Registered Nurse who wants to survive in the 21st century, must be social media savvy. You should know the basics of handling social media. You may want to ask me, “what are the basics of handling social media?” let me give you some basic clues.

• Know how to create a social media profile that is mature and attractive.

• Using social media to portray who you are.

• Utilizing the social media tool to sell your products and services.

• Using the power of networking on social media to get more opportunities. And so much more. If you want to learn more, which I bet you would, we urge you to anticipate Care City’s Digital Literacy Academy, a Digital Platform created to expose Registered Nurses & Health Care Professionals in Nigeria and Africa to the realities of Digital Life.

• Basic Emailing Skills: Don’t tell me you can’t find your way around the emailing app on your android phone. If you can not, then you need to get serious with it.

Emails are very important tools that you must be able to handle, you should be able to, on a basic level:

• Create a simple mail and send to one recipient or multiple recipients.

• Attach media files to your mails.

• Open an email for your self and your business.

• Use your mail to register for accounts and create social media accounts, and so much more.

These are just basic uses of your mail, there are other advance uses of your mail, like connecting your mails to your websites or blogsites and other more technical uses of your email.

• Basic Use of Search Engines: You should be familiar with Google. Today, Google is almost synonymous to the internet. And do you know that they are the ones who own the Android Operating System?

Search engines have made it extremely easy for us to acquire the information we need from the internet. There are a host of other search engines; Bing, owned by Microsoft, Duckduck go (funny name), Yandex, commonly used in Russia, OK, let’s stop here.

You should be proficient in the use of search engines, well at a basic level, provided you are able to search out the name of the president of Madagascar and do your assignments.

There are also advanced search engine features, which we will not talk about here. Registered Nurses should know how to search for information, know sites that are safe to input your private details, know how to extract and use information that a search engine provides. I think these are the basic stuff you should know if you want to know more? You know what to do, anticipate Care Code!

• Basic Knowledge About Backup (Data Knowledge): This is extremely important. Gone are the days when people begin to weep and lament because their mobile phones malfunctioned and they lost all their important documents.

Today, no one should be caught in this “Data Loss Web,” with the advent of Cloud Technology, a data technology that enables you to save your data in remote locations, so that should in case you lose the documents locally, you can always get them back from the cloud, that is if the rain does not wash them all down (lol).

Google provides cloud backup services. Google drive happens to be a perfect example of cloud services. Recent applications that can store your personal data now make use of the cloud technology to keep your data safe. You should know how to use this technology on a basic level to your advantage. Advance uses also exist.

Lauren Mancke | https://unsplash.com/@laurenmancke

Basic Knowledge About Common & General Operating Systems: Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals must know how to manipulate common operating systems. Like the Android Operating System, the OS all android phones run and the Windows Operating System, which is the most popular of all Operating Systems in the computer world. At least, on a basic level, you should be able to play around with these Operating Systems.

You should be able to on the Android Operating Systems:

• Install and uninstall applications.

• Make use of basic Android applications.

• Interact sufficiently with the interfaces. Fortunately, the Android Operating System is extremely user friendly.

You should also be able to do the same thing on the windows operating system:

• Install and uninstall applications.

• Make use of basic Windows applications.

• Interact sufficiently with the interfaces. Fortunately, the Windows Operating System is also user friendly. They are other advance uses of these Operating Systems, but I think these functions qualify as basic functions you should be familiar with.

Basic Knowledge About EMR (Electronic Medical Record): The good old days of paper charts and paper everywhere is gradually coming to an end. Hospitals are now making uses of the paperless system, just like the world is trying to switch to a cashless system – the paper rule is coming to an end.

Producing paper is expensive and above all, it is bad for our ecosystem, in the sense that trees that help to produce oxygen and utilise carbon dioxide are cut down, what are the results? Accumulation of carbon, lower amounts of oxygen and the hallmark, global warming and the greenhouse effect.

Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals must up their game, they must master the basic uses of EMR, as usual, maybe not at an advance level, but they should be able to navigate their way through the interface and perform fundamental tasks.

Technical Writing Skills: Writing is an all-encompassing skill. You need it if you want to effectively use social media, you need it in your workplace, for communicating and making reports. I am not saying you should write like Shakespeare or Achebe, or Soyinka, all I am saying is at least write like me, yes, like me.

You do not have to be a writer or an author, all you need to know how to do is communicate with the written words. Professionals with good writing skills have wonderful advantages over their colleagues who are struggling to put their verbs and tenses together.

Your writing skill is worth working on, though not a technological skill per se, I decided to include it because communication is needed in all that we do as human beings and writing is the major method of communication, I mean for ages, it has been, and it will always be, except we become so advanced and begin to communicate using telepathy (Hmm).

Basic Information Management Skills: When you hear information management, what comes to your mind? Data right? Yes, Data. You must have basic skills in managing data. No one is saying become an Oracle database administrator, all I am saying is that you should know how to take care of data, both personal and public, as usual on a basic level.

This is where the tech skills of manipulating Excel, operating systems and other skills combine into one. Do you know how to organise data? If you know, then you are one mile ahead of your colleagues who do not know a drop about it. It stands you out, makes you unique.

What are the basic things you are expected to know about Information management? If you really want to know, then read our next issue!

Basic Blogging Skills (my favourite): My favourite on the list. Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals know a lot of stuff that can help millions of people. As I said earlier, when I talked about writing, they should have good writing skills. You will not enjoy blogging if your writing skill is poor. You need to communicate with people as clearly as possible, they must understand your ideas.

I know blogging may be a “high-tech skill” for some Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals, but I must tell you, that it is a skill you can master on a basic level. If you want to learn to blog for the health sector, you can book a space for our upcoming Digital Literacy Academy for Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals by talking with us here on WhatsApp [This programme is designed for Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals in Nigeria and Africa].

Adam Birkett |https://unsplash.com/@abrkett

What a list, and we have been educated. Don’t forget to share this information with your colleagues, they definitely will need it.

And if you want to talk to us about booking your space ahead of time to participate in our novel Digital Literacy Academy for Registered Nurses and Health Care Professionals in Nigeria and Africa, we are just a chat away.

Have a nice weekend and above all, stay safe, we need you to make the world a better place.


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