The nursing problem with e-mail

computerPatientI hate e-mail; in fact, it’s the bane of my existence.

The purpose of e-mail – like all other forms of communication – is to assist in the transmission of ideas; yet, the messages in my e-mail box seldom share anything, other than nebulous policy banter, platitudes, and grammatical ineptitude.

The e-mail machine doesn’t work because it works too well. In the beginning, a bunch of computer geeks created it as an ingenious method to disseminate ideas; at first, it worked, everyone e-mailed messages worth e-mailing.

And then, of course, the cretins took over, spewing spam everywhere.

At home, we can escape e-mail; we can turn it off, ignore it, or abandon it altogether.  But at work, we’re stuck.  Whilst working, my e-mail belches beeps, spews forth policies, and provides the recaps of meetings I’d prefer to forget.

The once ingenious method of communication is now nothing more than the mundane. We use it, abuse it, and pretend it still works.

In all its infinite glory, the e-mail machine just keeps churning, turning out messages faster than I can read them.

Over the years, I’ve watched e-mail evolve. At first, it inspired awe; now it’s just a bore.

When I hear my manager say, “Didn’t you get that? I sent it to everyone in an e-mail,” I just smile and grin; I know it’s just another meaningless update that I’ve likely already received in a previous phone call or text message.

The sheer amount of redundancy and repetition involved with this constant inundation of technology is time consuming and a threat to performance and productivity.

The e-mail machine is broken, it just ties us up and keeps us from our patients.

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