The advent of cloud computing has changed the way many people store information. Essentially, cloud computing is a system of applications and software that allows users to store data on a server at a distant location instead of on their personal computers. Most people have actually been using basic cloud computing for years, usually to send e-mail or store photos. However, the technology has recently improved considerably, allowing numerous applications to be used remotely from any computer in the world. While this benefits people in many fields, from data entry to medical transcription, it should be of particular note to traveling nurses. Cloud computing eliminates a host of problems that plague traveling professionals of any field, and the freedom it offers is tremendous.
Cloud computing offers a plethora of advantages, not only to traveling nurses, but also to traveling professionals in any field. Through it, a person can access their e-mail, personal and professional records, and a full array of office tools from any desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone without having to even once transfer their records from one device to another. What’s more, they can do so at-will from any location with Internet access without any need to install software or set up a new account. No matter where they work from one week to the next, a traveling nurse will have ready access to all his or her data instantly without the need to back it up, carry it along or transfer it to a new system.
As an added benefit, the cloud obviates the need to synchronize data across networks and devices. Any important documents or information are available to anyone they have been shared with at any time from anywhere and with the utmost attention to security—though of course this is dependant on the user observing good password practices. Thus cloud computing not only makes the sharing of information more efficient, but also increases the ease with which it is shared.
The personal advantages of the cloud are just as pronounced. Through it traveling nurses can easily keep in touch with their friends and family by maintaining the same e-mail account, and having ready access to it, regardless of their location. Sharing pictures and videos is also a painless process, since you can just upload them to a globally accessible directory. Further, most cloud providers allow for free, real-time interaction through text, voice and video chat, enabling unprecedented levels of personal communication through the Web.
Maintaining consistency despite travel also makes it far easier for traveling nurses to stay on top of their social media. Simply by maintaining a constant e-mail address, they no longer have to put up with the headache of changing their user settings on the myriad sites they frequent. What’s more, many social media sites are jumping on board with cloud computing and allowing users to integrate content from their cloud into their blog, wall or forum and vice versa. We are rapidly approaching a point where all of a person’s online social interactions and shared files will be accessible from a single browser page.
The many professional and personal advantages traveling nurses can find in cloud computing speak for themselves. Not only can it improve the efficiency and ease with which they move from place to place, but also it improves their ability to keep in touch with and communicate with friends and family. Future developments in cloud computing will continue to increase its utility, ease of use and security as more people adopt into their daily lives. Ultimately the benefits of using cloud computing will only continue to grow as time passes. It’s clear that while the cloud is useful to traveling nurses now, in the future it may be an unavoidable and indispensable tool.
Patricia Walling is a graduate student working toward her Masters in Conservation Biology. She has both professional and volunteer experience in a hospital environment and currently resides in Washington state.