Looking forward: A glimpse into the future

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  • December 1999 441

    Have you given much consideration to all the Y2Kissues being discussed? The latest copy of mylocal newspaper suggests that we stock up on every-thing we might use for several months, just incasea strategy that would certainly enlarge ourpantries and give our economy a major boost to finishout 1999. And yet, our ancestors survived Y1K, andothers likely will have the chance to experience Y3K.

    I wonder what predictions were ventured bythose early pioneers in the year 999. Did they haveeven a clue about the progress humans would makein just 1000 years? I am quite sure people becamesick in 999, without the benefit of triage, blood pres-sure cuffs, and even thermometers, to the best of ourknowledge. Health care has made tremendous ad-vances during the past millennium, and many moreadvances will be forthcoming.

    What will emergency care be like in 10, 20, 100,or 1000 years? How far-reaching will emergency nurs-ing be? Virtual medical care is already available in1999what is next? If we buried a time capsule con-taining ED necessities and it were opened in the fu-ture, would anyone have a clue as to what these an-cient devices might do? For example, if we includeda pulse oximeter, automated external defibrillator, andfluid warmer, what would the emergency nurses ofthe future think? Will acetaminophen and digitalissurvive another 100 years, or will they be replacedwith aroma inhalation of less toxic substances?

    Considering what the future will hold can be fun.Are you ready to make your predictions? I am pre-pared to step out on a limb, and I hope that someonewill recognize my thoughts in the futuristic ED. Younever know, some wild idea of 1999 might just be themodern miracle of 2121 or 2767.

    1. My first prediction is the migration of emergencycare to specialty shops, such as freestandingfacilities specializing in various illnesses/injuries.I see the trend toward urgent care facilities nowand believe that this wave will continue. I envisionemergency departments in hospitals becomingmore specialized, caring for acute patients, with afocus toward outpatient, freestanding facilities.

    2. I see the world of Virtual medical care expanding,with sick people being able to gain much of theirmedical care via the Net. With the creation ofnew home computer devices, patients will be ableto have their examinations, including diagnosticevaluations, in the privacy of their own home. Asmall camera device attached to the computerscreen could send high-quality images to a Virtualdoctor, even including a probe for auscultation.

    Benny Marett, Catawba Chapter, is Clinical Nurse Specialist, Emer-gency Care Consultants of the Carolinas, Rock Hill, SC.For reprints, write: Benny Marett, RN, MSN, CEN, COHN-S, CNA,610 Sedgewood Dr, Rock Hill, SC 29732.J Emerg Nurs 1999;25:441-2.Copyright 1999 by the Emergency Nurses Association.0099-1767/99 $8.00 + 0 18/61/103097

    Guest EditorialLooking forward: A glimpse into thefutureAuthor: Benny Marett, RN, MSN, CEN, COHN-S, CNA, ENA President-Elect, Rock Hill, SC

    ENA will have more than100,000 active members,spanning the globe. Allmembers will participate atlocal, state, and nationallevels. All emergency nurseswill be a member of theirprofessional organization.Certification of variouscomponents of emergencycare will be available, andthe ENA Foundation willoffer hundreds ofscholarships to deservingnurses each year.

  • 442 Volume 25, Number 6

    3. Artificial blood will be the only replacement solu-tion used. Field treatments will be dramaticallyincreased, and absorption methods will be thechoice for those (formerly) painful shots.

    4. Crashes will be rare because year 2000 emer-gency nurses focused so much on injury preven-tion. If a crash should occur, soft cushioning willprotect a person from sustaining any bodily harm.Seat belt usage will be universally required, evento the point that vehicles will not move withoutmultiple restraints in place. Seats will conform toeach passenger. Alcohol and other drug detectorswill be installed in every vehicle. Impaired driverswill be a thing of the past.

    5. ENA will have more than 100,000 active mem-bers, spanning the globe. All members will par-ticipate at local, state, and national levels. Allemergency nurses will be a member of their pro-fessional organization. Certification of various

    JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY NURSING/Marett

    components of emergency care will be available,and the ENA Foundation will offer hundreds ofscholarships to deserving nurses each year.Okay, I have ventured a few guesseswhich,

    given my conservative nature, include no real sur-prises. The ball is in your court. What do you see asthe future of our chosen profession? With our will anddetermination, our future has to be bright! Emer-gency nursing has progressed very rapidly duringthe past few years and has moved beyond the bound-aries of emergency departments to venture intomany uncharted territories. Where we go next is upto us. The future looks bright, but only if we supplythe light bulb.

    Here is to a fun and exciting future. Happy newyear, and happy new millennium! By the way, I havebegun to gather my bottled water, cash, and cannedfood and am looking for a nice wood stove, JUST incase....

    FUTURE SITES AND DATES OF ENA ANNUAL MEETINGS

    Annual Meeting2000Chicago, Ill

    Hyatt Regency ChicagoGeneral Assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 2021

    Navy PierScientific Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 2224

    2001Orlando, FlaOmni Rosen Hotel

    General Assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 1213Orange County Convention Center

    Scientific Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 14162002New Orleans, La

    New Orleans MarriottGeneral Assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 1819

    Ernest M. Morial Convention CenterScientific Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 2022

    2003Philadelphia, PaPhiladelphia Marriott

    General Assembly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 1718Pennsylvania Convention Center

    Scientific Assembly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . September 1921

    Leadership Symposium2000Nashville, Tenn

    Nashville Convention Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 24272001Reno, Nev

    Reno Hilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 22252002Charlotte, NC

    Charlotte Convention Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . February 28March 3