As an ambulatory care nurse, you recognize that telehealth is an integral part of your practice. Whether you are talking with patients and families over the phone or by email, or remotely monitoring patients, you are involved in telehealth.
You may practice in a call center, individual group practice, after hours service, or a disease management program—all have telehealth as a vital component.
You’ve come to the right place for information, education, and making connections with other registered nurses practicing telehealth.
What is Telehealth Nursing?
Telehealth nursing practice is an integral component of ambulatory care nursing.
Telehealth practice originally began when registered nurses (RNs) were available to patients by telephone to ensure they had access to health care. The RNs triaged patients to appropriate levels of care.
Today, telehealth RNs provide more sophisticated nursing care using various telehealth technologies in virtual environments. These technologies may include mobile smart phones, kiosks, and web-based and digital platforms. The telehealth encounter varies on the setting and patient need.
Telehealth RNs practice by:
- Using clinical algorithms, protocols or guidelines to systematically assess patient needs and symptoms.
- Prioritizing the urgency of patient needs.
- Collaboratively developing the plan of care with the patient and supportive disciplines, which may include recommendations for care, call back instructions, and education.
- Evaluating outcomes.
Telehealth RNs help patients, families, and populations to:
- Promote optimal wellness.
- Participate in the management of acute illness.
- Assist in self-management of chronic diseases and disability.
- Provide care coordination during care transitions.
- Support patients and their families in end-of-life care.
- Evaluate outcomes of care.
The definition of telehealth nursing practice can be found in the Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Telehealth Nursing, 6th edition (2018).
Take advantage of these telehealth nursing resources to enhance your practice and professional growth.
- Free Recorded Webinars: Telephone Triage and COVID-19
- Scope and Standards of Practice for Professional Telehealth Nursing - Use these standards to promote effective clinical and administrative management of services provided by RNs via telecommunications technology.
- Telehealth Education - Learn from education sessions in the special telehealth track offered at the AAACN Annual Conferences. Recordings and contact hours are available in the Online Library.
- Telehealth Nursing Practice Special Interest Group (SIG) - Join this active SIG to network and address your professional telehealth issues and education needs.
- AAACN Telehealth Nursing Practice Education Resource Directory - The Telehealth Resource Directory was developed as an online toolkit that AAACN members can use to enhance and advance practice and increase the effectiveness of the role of the RN in telehealth.
- Telephone Triage Course: Coming soon!