One of the most dramatic changes in the last decades in the world of health care education has been the incredible advance in technology. Information and communication technologies such as personal computers, video products such as videocassettes and videodiscs, and communication devices such as modems and facsimile machines, have changed the world. Increased performance and speed have been matched by declining costs, thus enabling more and more schools to have access to these new technologies (Fallows & Bhanot, 2002).
According to Olade (2004), future changes in elderly health care using observed phenomena and evidences is an example of education which refers to formalized experiences designed to enlarge the knowledge or skills of nursing educators or practitioners. Through experiences and evidences, the ability to learn actual clinical practice and the orientation in health care protocols and policies in handling patients’ needs will be achieved. This method is also termed as Evidence-based practice. Evidence-based practice involves a combination of many disciplines, including aspects of multidisciplinary sciences to promote the restoration and maintenance of health in elderly clients. Much literature has been published on this topic in recent years, an evolving subject and concept for specific practices that promote more effective, safer and more efficient ways of caring . Maintaining and improving high satisfaction among elderly health care practitioner is an important area to discover (Fallows & Bhanot, 2002). To achieve this, health care workforce to continually strive for excellence, be responsible and flexible enough, have the confidence to face the challenges, and inspire everyone with a shared vision. These are strengths needed by nursing staff to motivate others health care provider to fulfill their potential and achieve goals Researches, studies and articles were utilized and analyzed in gathering the necessary information needed. Clinical education, skills and practices are the key concepts used in this paper (Kleinman, 2001).
In the declining quality of elderly care, managers who must deal with day-to-day issues and conflicts brought on by elder care need, work/conflicts must be given proper trainings and to devise activities, programs and policies to minimize losses in production due to these conflicts, and community organizations leaders will help employees deal effectively with elder care/work conflicts through information and skills in balancing their responsibilities for elder care and work (Littlefield, 2005).
With the increase in access to these new technologies, educators have had opportunities to explore different ways to teach and design instruction. Where once drill and practices exercises dominated computer use environments, word processing and databases have become the most used software applications. New technologies continue to evolve into more powerful and sophisticated applications (Elmore, 2004).
Improving and advancing the quality of education and learning will upgrade the degrading quality of care which is one of the trends and critical issues in educational settings, especially during the expansion of education. Information and Communication Technology is very powerful and effective tool for expanding opportunities in education, either non-formal and formal, to previously elderly populations in rural areas and scattered constituencies, geopolitical, cultural or ethnic groups which are excluded traditionally from education because of social or cultural reasons (Schroeder, Trehearne & Ward, 2007).
Elderly health care workforce do not have to depend primarily on books and other resources in housed in many hospital or public libraries which are available only in definite numbers for their needs in education (Blum, 2004). With the emergence of Internet and the use of World Wide Web, a variety of learning materials and resources in many subject areas and specialization including media are now available anywhere and anytime in any part of the globe, night and day utilized by vast number of populations (Lichtman, 2008).
One of the most popular reasons for the utilization of Information and Communication Technology in elderly care educational settings is the best way to prepare the current health care workforce for an environment or workplace where Information and Communication Technologies, particularly the Internet and computers, other related software technologies, are now emerging as more ubiquitous in nature (Kleinman, 2001). Literacy health advancement in Technology, or the ability to use Information and Communication Technology efficiently and effectively, is being viewed as a representation of a competitive edge in an advancing globalization of jobs in the market (Elmore, 2004).
Moreover, in dealing with elderly populations, technological and cultural literacy competence in the use of information and communication technologies is essential to prepare practitioners in the near future. Information literacy, ability to find, evaluates and makes appropriate use of information, including via the use of technology (Littlefield, 2005). Cultural literacy appreciations of the diversity of cultures are also important features of modern technology applied in educational settings. Global awareness understanding of how clients and communities all over the world are interrelated (Elmore, 2004).
In implementing technological approach to elderly care practice, professionals must learn the ability to have excellent learning and communication skills, exhibit organizational and leadership ability The particular problem which is the main issue of the study conducted by Littlefield (2005) which suggests that the ability of nurses to perform their responsibilities and duties by exhibiting clinical skills and professional abilities are important. Health care professionals must possess good assessment skills and have good insight and judgment skills in order to anticipate or interpret the needs of the client in health care practice. This model can be used to accommodate change process for the observed facts and laws that can be related to a particular aspect of elderly care practice (Schroeder, Trehearne & Ward, 2007).
As elderly care workforce began using different instructional strategies, they discovered that traditional forms of learning were not always adequate. Moreover, technology rich environment increasingly generated new situations related to advance learning. Their increased interest in computer activities brought up additional issues related to time management, curriculum, and ultimately learning (Littlefield, 2005). Moreover, their high level of engagement in working with this population group led many to go beyond the requirement of their assignment, leaving health professionals grappling with questions of whether to and where to draw boundaries. Using technology effectively in the work environment will enable health care professionals to be successful and will assist them in learning what they need to be effective, which was the main impact of modern technology to the industry (Lichtman, 2008).
In addition to conveying information, the visual and emotional impact of modern technology can have significant influence on their attitude and behaviors. The perception of conflicts can perpetuate roles and stereotypes or be used to break down existing role stereotypes and build more broadminded attitudes (Littlefield, 2005).
Eventually, health care workforce focused on the effects of their care on elderly clients and began to employ technology to their advantage in managing the interventions. Rather than just troubleshooting, managers developed technological supports for monitoring work, keeping records, sheets, developing new materials, and individualizing interventions (Littlefield, 2005). As workforce learned more about technology and software, they discovered that technology could save them time rather than create additional demands. Different learning styles may also apply to the use of technology, and learners need to assume that not all clients will find the same type of experience with technology rewarding (Blum, 2004).
The development of health services during recent years in the health care system put much emphasis on the expanding role of elderly care. The main purpose of the role is to take on characteristics of different health professionals to instigate innovation in the performance of roles and responsibilities in the provision of care. Littlefield (2005) states that advance skills and knowledge are necessary to increase number of patients and improve quality of care. Comprehensive care requires that the provider understands the different types and techniques for assessing elimination pattern and needs of the patient. They must also provide supportive care by helping the patients to make necessary physical adjustments while at the same time, constantly assessing their condition for problems that can be caused by altered activity pattern (Lichtman, 2008).
Having sufficient knowledge on the relationship between patient needs and proper management of patients is integral in this practice because it can either hinder or foster faster recovery on the part of the patient (Davies, 2005). Knowing the context and current condition of patients with his/her need problem is vital in determining what kind of education, management, complications, and treatments will increase their quality of care. In this case, proper education and training for medical professionals will result to proper understanding of quality of care in the field and how to better handle the varying needs of elderly patients (Fallows & Bhanot, 2002).
Apparently, the recall of knowledge has been the mainstay of the educational system for decades. As access to vast quantities of information becomes easier, the emphasis on remembering that information will shift to being able to manage the sources, ask pertinent questions, and draw conclusions (Moyra, 2009).. Data rich work environment will cause us to shift away from simply attempting to recall the facts to attempting to put these facts together in a meaningful way to solve problems and make value judgment about what ought to be. Research findings based on actual health care practices suggest that effective management spend time learning about the technology and software programs, and planning on how to infuse the technology into practice. As health care practice become more independent and patients become facilitators of learning, learning related to particular area of study begins to occur in a number of places in and outside the school with the aid of technology (Schroeder, Trehearne & Ward, 2007).
Some of the activities needed to be practiced and learned in a clinical setting are the provision of the most current information possible for the client and co-professionals using the collaborative approach. During the session and actual learning practice can provide clear explanations of the pathophysiological condition and processes of human illness (Davies, 2005). It also facilitates assessment process integrating information as vital component of clinical and evidenced based practice (Moyra, 2009). The role of changes must also facilitate professionals in learning on how to prioritize diagnoses and interventions specific to altered responses for illnesses and disease conditions. It must also emphasize the role of client needs as an essential factor to achieve highest possible recovery for every patient, providing case studies for each case so that we can envision the client as a person needing and requiring care and acquire knowledge regarding the specific case (Kleinman, 2001). They also need to foster critical thinking and decision making which is very important for every health care professional in clinical practice (Schroeder, Trehearne & Ward, 2007).
The technological changes will benefit health care professionals in terms of assessing patient needs and designing future programs to improve quality of life. Finally, this would also benefit other health practitioners and families who would wish to explore the concept of quality for patients, specifically patients with problems, while receiving management and medical treatments (Blum, 2004).
There is a need for discussion of each procedure of intervention including necessary evidenced based concept and background information, with carefully chosen management and scientifically precise intervention. They also need to fully understand how to identify and maintain normal lifestyle patterns and enhance the decision-making skills when performing the required skills in practice. Instructions are also needed to be presented to identify proper diagnoses, outcomes, and interventions for clients with problem (Moyra, 2009). This emphasis reinforces the fact that organized process is relevant to practice to ensure the patient’s safety and rehabilitation (Fallows & Bhanot, 2002).
As information and communications technology has infused in elderly care practice, more attention has been paid to creating an environment that is conducive to its effective use. Workforce and industry simply cannot be expected to acquire the needed skills to incorporate to technology into instruction with supportive environment and the availability of some assistance. It is also utilized to support wide range of research activities. When the heath provider and patient seek information not available in classroom, they need to go elsewhere, and computers make it possible to search other sources without leaving the field. By the aid of technology, these things are now possible in many educational settings (Moyra, 2009). Using variety of software, mini laboratory or demonstration tool were effective medium of learning in elderly care.