Will Your Career as a Nurse Include Support from Healthcare Robots?

Susanna Kahr

Whether you are about to make a shift in your career to enter nursing or have been a member of the ranks of professional nurses for some time now, you should be aware that nursing jobs are highly in-demand. In fact, there is an ongoing shortage of skilled nurses in the United States. The country’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that jobs for nurses will grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, at a rate higher than other occupations.

Hiring departments at hospitals and other healthcare organizations need to keep their eyes peeled for promising, talented potential recruits. This is essential for them to continue providing the needed level of service to patients in their communities. It’s no wonder, then, that some in the healthcare industry are turning their eyes toward robotic assistants. Robots can perform repetitive tasks without growing weary. They will not require a salary (but you may have to budget for leasing if not outright purchasing robot assistants, of course), which is a boon to bean counters.

A case in point is a new robot named Moxi that has been tested in some Texas hospitals last year and through early 2019. The rise of robots such as Moxi that are designed to support nurses at work could be a view of the future of healthcare. Read on for more insight into robotic nursing assistants and the potential role of automation in the context of a growing nursing shortage in the U.S.

About Moxi the Robot

Diligent Robotics of Austin, Texas created Moxi the robot with an eye to having it perform tasks that nurses typically do without interaction with patients, currently accounting for about a third of their working hours. Moxi was built on a wheeled base that lets it travel the hospital floors to run various errands. It has an arm for grasping and moving items during the course of its daily tasks. According to a report from Fast Company about recent Moxi tests, the robot is designed to be preprogrammed for specific tasks in the hospital.

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For example, Moxi connects to the electronic health records or EHR system. It is sent updates whenever nurses or other staff members make changes in the EHR database that trigger a new task to be performed. When the status of a patient changes, such as after discharge, Moxi receives a message to bring fresh supplies for the next patient.

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Moxi’s developers didn’t even begin building their robot until they had spent 150 hours shadowing doctors and nurses, learning what they require in the way of support. After construction, the team continued to trail the medical staff along with Moxi during the clinical trials that just finished this year. It was crucial that Moxi appear to be nonthreatening and clear in how it acts. The robot’s human-like head rotates just like a person’s, with the eyes pointing in the same direction as the direction it travels. The wheeled base, torso and stand make Moxi look less like a boxy metal robot and more approachable.

How Is Moxi Helping Nurses With Their Work?

Bringing Moxi onto staff to take over more of the grunt work that goes on behind the scenes in a hospital is like boosting the nursing staff by 30 percent. What’s more, because nurses don’t have to devote as much of their time or thinking to such mundane tasks when Moxi takes over, they can devote more energy and attention to patient-critical tasks. The nursing shortage will be less stressful on nurses and the rest of the hospital staff when more robot assistants come on board to handle tasks where human interaction isn’t truly needed.

And what about you? Will You Be Working as a Nurse Alongside Robots?

 

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Would you welcome the prospect of robot assistants working alongside you to support you in your nursing work? The team at kununu is standing by to help you navigate the complexities of finding meaningful work in healthcare, so feel free to check out over 3,600,000 employer reviews for more than 900,000,000 companies at one of the world’s largest employer rating platforms.

 

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