The Technological Benefits of Non-Invasive Medical Procedures
Career Path : Healthcare
The human body comes with several anatomical openings. Since our initial trips to the family doctor, we have become accustomed to having lights, tongue-depressors and thermometers placed near or inside our mouths, ears and other orifices. Having this natural access to the inner workings of our body is a great way to monitor, regulate and heal the everyday functioning of the body, its temperature, pulse, and susceptibility to infections.
Many medical procedures are not possible without some form of surgical entry into the body. These procedures can range from minimally invasive procedures to full open surgery. Skin must be broken and new anatomical openings must be carried out for these procedures. Although the extent of invasion ranges, most often there will be some damage to biological tissue. Risks with these kinds of procedures are bleeding, infection, internal organ injury, blood clotting and could sometimes lead to death.
Fortunately, modern technology has produced some wonderful instruments and devices that allow for what is known as non-invasive medical procedures. Although the origins of non-invasive procedures goes back centuries and involves some of the simplest forms of examination, like pulse-taking and the use of stethoscopes for lung sounds, the range of internal organs that can be examined today has vastly increased.
Proper healthcare training has now become intimately tied to the knowledge of such technological devices, for example, the electrocardiography machine (ECG). Compared to the stethoscope, which allows a physician to hear the heart beating and make temporal judgements based on the beats per minute, the ECG machine uses advanced electrical signals to monitor the activity of the heart. Because the device works by placing electrodes to the outer-surface of the skin, the procedure is one hundred per cent non-invasive, and carries zero risk of invasive procedures, such as endovascular surgeries which monitors the heart by accessing major blood vessels.
It is however important to keep in mind that simply because the medical risk is significantly lower with ECGs and other non-invasive procedures, that careful and thorough training is still absolutely necessary. Health courses in ECG theory and practice must cover a wide range of topics, such as:
- equipment maintenance
- signal-averaged ECG
- trans-telephonic monitoring
- ambulatory ECG monitoring
- Holter hook-up techniques
- analysis of rate, rhythm, axis, blocks, hypertrophy, ischemia, injury, infarction, pacemakers and electrolyte imbalance
- and much more
Aside from the technological training required to operate this machine, the practitioner must be familiar with ethical and legal aspects of its use. Again, simply because it is not an invasive surgical operation, one cannot neglect the proper procedure for attaining patient consent, privacy, and confidentiality regarding the patientâs health.
It is certainly advantageous to employ technology if it helps us avoid having to physically enter the body for a medical procedure. As long as we do not lose sight of the complexities of machines like ECG monitors and devote sufficient training to its application, technology will only continue to be at our service.
Visit Mohawk College for more information on programs related to health and technology.