I recently read an article on the DW stating that robots might replace nurses one day. Although Minoru Asada, a leading robotics researcher and head of the Asada Project, states that “Robots cannot and should not replace humans,” it almost seems inevitable that they will. If hospitals and healthcare facilities can use a robot, and not have to pay a human for the same service, why wouldn’t they? Everything is about saving money these days, especially in the healthcare sector.
In Japan, the use of robots is commonplace, and experts believe that it will only continue, especially in the services industry. Robots have been used in the healthcare sector, especially in nursing. It is believed that with the aging population in Japan, there won’t be enough people or nurses to help take care of them. Currently, the Japanese government relies on modern technology for healthcare.
Robots already play a key role in Japanese hospitals and healthcare facilities. They are able to look after senior citizens, sing with them, and engage with them in other activities. Asada believes that robots can perform tasks that are physically very demanding and stressful for humans. He also asserts that the only way robots can help people are if they are accepted by them.
Where’s the Emotion?
Nurses and people in general have this great ability to show emotion. We let you know verbally or non- verbally how we are feeling. Nurses are usually invested in their patients. They cry when you cry and hurt when you hurt. If we were to replace nurses with robots, where would the emotion be? Robots don’t have the ability to feel. Part of what makes a nurse great is their ability to comfort and decipher your emotions. A robot doesn’t know any social cues.
Nursing jobs will disappear.
There are plenty of examples of how technology is replacing human jobs. Replacing humans with machines all started with the assembly line. Production increased and not as many people were needed to assemble car parts. We see technology replacing newspapers, drivers, and even secretaries or assistants. Experts believe that robots will replace 30% of jobs by 2025. Employing a robot instead of a nurse will be cheaper for organizations and therefore eliminate a lot of nursing jobs.
Do you think it’s going to be easy to accept that a robot is taking care of you instead of a nurse? People want human interactions, and not just a robot that is designed to do a job. What if a robot is transporting you from bed to bed and something hurts you? The robot won’t understand the pain you are in. It takes a human to realize this. It’s going to be hard for people to accept that a robot is taking care of them, but they might not have a choice soon.