When I first heard of the title of the course, “Digital and Information Literacy,” I believed both terms to be one in the same. I was surprised to learn my very first week in the course that they are two different terms. Information literacy refers to one’s ability to locate and apply reliable sources of information to a real-world setting, while digital literacy focuses on one’s ability to navigate and utilize computer technology (Koltay, 2011).
I discovered the importance of information literacy and digital literacy in regards to patient teaching in my second week of the course. I learned that technology has provided more autonomy to patients as they are able to seek out health information online. Many patients look up diagnoses, symptoms, interventions, and possible treatments prior to seeking care from a physician. While it is wonderful that care is becoming more patient-centered and that patients are taking an initiative in regards to their health, nurses must ensure that patients are able to locate and access reliable health information from trustworthy sources.
Another thing that I had never considered prior to taking this course was a health care institution’s online presence. Many hospitals and other health care fa...
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...hat may alter patient information (Katona, 2014).
As I near the end of the course and reflect back on all that I have learned, I would have to say that one of the most important things I have learned is the ability of a nurse to have an impact on transforming health care. We need to be leaders and patient advocates, and willing to speak to management and nurse informaticists about ways to improve our Intranet system. We must not only speak up about the usability of the electronic health record (EHR), but also continue to seek out educational opportunities. We must be life-long learners keeping current with the latest nursing research and engaging in lectures and/or competencies. Nurses have the potential to bring about positive changes in patient care through the promotion of evidence-based practice and the utilization of information literacy and digital technology.
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