EVALUATION OF KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDE OF NURSES TO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON NURSING CARE DELIVERY

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge and attitude of nurses to information technology on nursing care delivery in Enugu. This write up studied knowledge of computer facilities, the level of knowledge of these computer facilities, whether the mentioned computer facilities are used in various places where they work. The relevance of information technology in nursing care delivery and factors hindering the use of ICT in nursing care delivery in Enugu were also studied. Sources of data for this study include library and questionnaire responses. Five health institutions were used, three government, one mission and one privately owned hospitals in Enugu metropolis. Questionnaires were distributed to 100 respondents from the five hospitals. Data collected were analyzed in tables and charts using percentage method or technique. From the research findings it was observed that the awareness about information technology and commonly used computer facilities such as internet and internet communications are high (96% and 94% respectively). The level of knowledge of these commonly used computer facilities among nurses in Enugu are still very low. In internet and internet communications, only 23% and 12% respectively had excellent knowledge while nobody (0%) had excellent knowledge in telenusring. Most of these computer facilities that were assessed are available and are in-use in the five hospitals that were used for this study. The rate of usage of GSM handsets and desktop/Laptop computers were 75% and 70% respectively while 67% and 62% used computer projectors and blood glucose analyzers. Among the five hospitals that were used for this assessment, non of them was found without these computer facilities. The relevance of information technology in nursing care delivery was assessed. Eighty five and seventy four percent (85% and 74%) of the respondents agreed that ICT aids student training, research and also is a good source of information on new diseases and treatment. Concerning faster diagnosis of diseases and easy/faster management of patients, 52% and 56% agreed that computer was an aid to such function. Some factors hindering the use of ICT in nursing care delivery were also identified. Such factors were inaccessibility to ICT facilities (71%), ineffective use of ICT at work place (69%), high cost of hard and software (65%). I hereby recommend continuing education for nurses in the area of ICT. This should be included in the curriculum for training nurses. Nurses should also make personal efforts to acquire ICT knowledge. All nurses should, therefore, be computer literate in order to embrace the information revolution that is going on now in the world.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.1   INTRODUCTION

According to advanced learners dictionary of current English 5th edition, information technology is the study or use of electronic processes for storing information and making it available (IT). Information technology has become a vital component in health care delivery. Flynn (1998) defines information technology or system as an information system that provides procedures to record and make available  information, concerning part of an organization, to assist organization related activities.

According to Davis (1999), information technology refers to sending, processing and receiving information through electronic means or computer. It is a flow of some sort of information carrying commodity in some network. There are no age limit or position limit in studying information technology. In October, 1999, the Guardian newspaper reported that the British prime Minister Tony Blair took his first tentative step into Information technology. He admitted his incompetence in computer usage. He then attended a two-hour computer training session in a shopping center to be instructed in word-processing, e-mail and the internet (Guardian 25 October 1999). There is need for everybody to become computer literate. This is important because the world has now entered the information age.

This study employs the diffusion of innovation theory. It is a socio-psychological theory propounded by clerk Rogers. Diffusion of innovation theory is concerned with the manner in which a new technological ideas, artifact or technique, or a new use of old one, migrates from creation to use. Obviously, this theory has been useful in studies relating to information and communication technology, especially when it concerns the adoption and use of new technologies. The Diffusion of innovations theory will provide this study with useful framework in explaining how far the Nurses in Enugu have acquired the knowledge of information technology and their attitude towards the application in Nursing care delivery.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Science has since reduced the world to a global village. This is the part and function of information technology. It is a common knowledge that information and communication technology (ICT) has come to facilitate and ease interactivity in health care delivery, Nursing diagnoses and treatment of ailments and disease, precision and accuracy in laboratory experiments, medical records keeping and drug preparation, monitoring of patient’s condition among others. Information and communication technology (ICT) is, therefore, vital for efficient discharge of duties in contemporary health institutions. What this means is that Nurses in the contemporary health and health related sectors must be ICT literate and compliance. Nurses should be familiar with relevant ICT applications in health care delivery.

1.3   PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The motivation behind this study are;

i.  To determine the current levels of knowledge of information and communication technology among Nurses in Enugu.

ii.  To determine Nurses understanding of the relevance of ICT to Nursing care delivery.

iii.  To ascertain the level of usage of ICT among Nurses in Enugu.

iv.  To find out the factors that are hindering the use of ICT among Nurses in Enugu metropolis.

1.4   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research questions will guide this study.

1)  What is the level of knowledge of computer facilities among Nurses in Enugu metropolis.

2)  What is the attitude of Nurses about the relevance of information technology to Nursing care delivery?

3)  What are the current levels of usage of information technology among Nurses in Enugu metropolis?

4)  What are the factors militating against Nurses in using information communication technology in Enugu metropolis?

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The world has witnessed an information revolution, a combination of massive increase in the world’s inventory of information and technical development and means to cope with it. Information technology is the name given to the means of processing and transmitting information. Information technology is a subject that is very wide. There is hardly no sector of the economy that information technology is not being applied. For example in manufacturing, computers are used to do product design, product packaging. In engineering, computers are used to do different types of designs. In remote sensing and earth observation, satellite is a computer based technology in orbit for data transmission to the ground for interpretation. The world of commerce is far more automated than the actual production of goods. Banking, transportation and distribution of goods are being more transformed by electronics. The world of commerce is information intensive. It is required that information be made available on goods, their prices, their utility and the modern means for paying for those goods. Microcomputers are now widely used in hospitals and medical practice, medical research and medical  decision-making. The new technology offers new hope to the deaf, blind and the disabled. Diagnostic tests and laboratory analysis are quicker and easier.

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