Public Health Nursesʼ Perceptions of Mobile Computing in a School Program
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The use of mobile computing (MC) in healthcare practice has grown substantially in recent years, yet little is known about its impact. This descriptive, exploratory, qualitative study explored the perceptions of public health nurses (PHNs) in a school health program about their use of MC. Public health nurses participated in focus group interviews and completed weekly reflections. They perceived that MC (a) increased PHNs' flexibility although they were constrained by work rules, (b) increased peer and employer connectedness yet increased isolation, (c) and increased PHNs' status while creating a wider gap between PHNs and their clients. Public health nurses described their practice as being more efficient and client-focused with MC. Over time, PHNs grew more comfortable with the tool, developed a dependence on it, and learned to deal with technological problems. Although this new technology shows promise, there is a need for further research to examine its impact as a tool to promote public health nursing practice.
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