For almost three months now, I have had the pleasure of interning at the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia. This company is a non-profit, Home Health Care and Hospice organization. Therefore, there is a physical office with employees in departments such as Finance and HR, as well as nurses who make house visits in the field. I am the IT intern in the MIS department. This department primarily handles all computer operations as well as all other technological needs within the company. My time with this company has taught me many lessons, however, the lesson that stands out the most to me is how older generations have begun to recognize the importance of computers and computer knowledge in the workplace.
As I said before, a decent amount of the employees are field nurses, with the average age of these nurses being 50 and older. Furthermore, these nurses use Microsoft Surface Tablets with Bluetooth keyboards to record appointment notes and medical information. The difference between this computer and a normal laptop is that it is capable to perform under both tablet and desktop interfaces, so it is basically a touch screen computer. The nurses also receive an iPhone to use as a wireless hotspot for the tablet.
Since interning in the MIS department has exposed me to technology based events within the company, I have been able to see firsthand how the Baby Boomer generation of employees have adapted to technology in the workplace. A 2016 study by Pew Research Center showed that 66% of Baby Boomers (age 51-59) used the Internet. The same study also found that only 35% of the same group used Tablet computers. With how immersive our society is in technology and social media, it has become a necessity to have a basic understanding of computers. Computers are in everywhere in the work place, as well as in our smart phones in our pockets. While computers are a huge part of education for younger generations, Baby Boomers did not have the luxury and ease of computers during their school years. Due to this, learning how to use a computer is an acquired skill they need to want to learn. Previously, I thought that this generation did not have an interest in learning how to use computers; however, after working here, I have seen that Baby Boomers have easily learned and utilized computers in the work place just like Millennials have.
In the MIS department, I have seen the effective training that the company provides to nurses in basic computer knowledge, as well as specific training for medical computer programs. Proper documentation is vital for each appointment the nurses have, and without knowing how to use a computer and specific programs to document a visit, the nurses would not be able to do their jobs. As someone who previously thought older generations such as Baby Boomers could not care less abut computers, this proved to me that they actually understand the importance of computers in the workplace. Furthermore, there is no doubt that by knowing how to use a computer for work, there is also so much more that the Baby Boomer generation can learn to do with the internet. Being a Millennial raised on using computers, it makes me glad to see older generations utilizing the technology that provides immense possibilities right at our fingertips.