Safety & Health Benefits of Telecommuting

for Nurses

(Page Under Construction)



"We do it with CARE". We see this as a bumper sticker on cars and as one of the buttons that Nurses often wear on their shirts to bring humor to their work. They *do* care - a lot! Don't you think it's about time we showed them how much we care about them, too?

For years Nurses have provided comfort, contact, and council to the sick, the hurt, and the dying. To do this, they needed to be face-to-face with their patients. Today, many Nurses may still need to have a lot of that face-to-face contact, but there are many times where they may just need to monitor their patients' conditions or perform administrative activities (that wonderful and time-consuming "paper work"). With today's technology they could perform more and more of their work, both patient-related and paperwork-related from their homes.

Tens of thousands of people die each year in the United States as a result of car crashes. Many hundreds of thousands are injured, as well. Some of you, unfortunately, have lost friends or family members in a car crash at some point in your lives. In addition to deaths and injuries, billions of dollars are lost due to property damage, medical expenses and other costs associated with these crashes. And then there's the pain suffered by those who are left behind or must care for a loved one injured in a car accident - it's hard to put a price on that. At the Telecommuting Safety & Health Benefits Institute (TSHBI), we believe that some of those crashes and the resulting human suffering are occurring during commutes to and from work, and that some of those tragedies could easily be prevented by more widespread use of telecommuting.

TSHBI will be exploring the issues of safety and health benefits for Nurses during the next year trying to assess the value of telecommuting to improved safety and health for Nurses, their patients, and members of the general public. We already have volunteers working in this area of research and are looking for more help to advance this effort. We see "Telecommuting Nursing" as an area that has not received enough attention (if any) in the past, and offers an important opportunity to save the lives and prevent the injury of many Nurses and members of the general public.

Clearly, much of the routine nursing work involved in such activities as monitoring patient conditions, giving comfort and council to patients, and doing paperwork (required for documenting patient care and billing purposes) could be done by telecommuting. This is true not only for the Nurses who commute to/from hospitals, clinics, and Doctor's office, but also for Home Health Care Nurses and Hospice Nurses, who presently spend a considerable amount of time driving to/from patient homes. By creating telecommuting work options for Nurses, employers would demonstrate that they care for those people who care for their patients. By reducing the number of commutes, employers would improve not only the safety of Nurses, but safety of the general public, as well. Whenever a Nurse can do his/her work from home rather than commuting to a patient's home or to a hospital, they also make the highways less congested. This reduction in highway congestion improves the safety for other people who *must* be on the highway for whatever activity they are pursuing (ie, they can't "get it done" unless they go where that activity is to be accomplished). By telecommuting Nurses can continue to care for their patients, while also caring for their own safety and the safety of other people on the roads.

In addition to exploring the potential for improved worker and public safety by using Telecommuting Nursing, we will also examine what patients can do to improve their safety by using telecommuting. Additional areas will also be researched to determine opportunities for other workers (or the general public) to improve safety by telecommuting (visit the TSHBI home page periodically for progress on these efforts).

We encourage Nurses, Doctors, Health Care Administrators, and others interested in telecommuting to think about the potential for improving worker and public safety and health by using telecommuting, and we welcome your participation, support, and input to our efforts.[]

Related information: Benefits of Telecommuting, Telecommuting and Worker Safety and Health



Last updated: February 27, 2000
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