Wanted: Advanced Caregiver Training and Intuitive Devices

May 8, 2013
75 Views

Increasingly, family caregivers with no formal training are doing the kind of work more commonly associated with hospital-based nurses: operating dialysis machines and ventilators, administering IVs and injections, and using monitors for blood glucose, oxygen saturation and more. AARPs’ Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund have released a new survey on the topic.

Increasingly, family caregivers with no formal training are doing the kind of work more commonly associated with hospital-based nurses: operating dialysis machines and ventilators, administering IVs and injections, and using monitors for blood glucose, oxygen saturation and more. AARPs’ Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund have released a new survey on the topic. The Boston Globe has a good article on the subject.health caregiving

Many of the caregivers are performing advanced tasks such as those described above, but few report getting appropriate (or any) training to do these jobs. In my experience the equipment can be complex and it’s extremely easy to make a mistake. (See my recent, related post about managing a complex pediatric regimen at home.)

It’s unlikely that a great influx of trained, affordable nurses will be arriving anytime soon, but there are a couple paths that hold promise:

  • Hands-on training for caregivers, integrated into doctor visits, with follow-up available by phone and videoconference using Skype and similar readily available technologies
  • Intuitive, consumer oriented equipment and supplies, akin to what Apple has done in the consumer electronics sector. You see it to some extent already in self blood glucose monitoring for diabetes, but there’s a lot further to go. FDA should encourage better consumer usability in its approval process
There should be plenty of profits for those who figure out how to tackle this problem.

(image: caregiver/shutterstock)

You may be interested

Why Universal Healthcare is the Key to a Healthier and More Productive Society
Health care
339 views
Health care
339 views

Why Universal Healthcare is the Key to a Healthier and More Productive Society

Helen Heather - August 23, 2017

The United States remains the only country in the world without a universal healthcare system. Many critics have stated that…

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers
Mobile Health
13 views
Mobile Health
13 views

Care On The Road: How Telemedicine Can Reach Truck Drivers

Larry Alton - August 21, 2017

Telemedicine is considered a powerful tool for individuals living in rural areas, far from adequate services or in need of…

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech
eHealth
3 views
eHealth
3 views

Where Is The Balance? Pushing Back Against Consumer Health Tech

Larry Alton - August 18, 2017

When Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz glibly remarked that Americans struggling to afford insurance should choose between that and their smartphones,…