The Internet Impact: Is Memory Becoming Obsolete? Mindfulness Matters
Developing critical thought in leadership is a reflective experience that occurs physiologically through neuro-pathways in the brain. Reflection supporting critical thought, seems to elude the quick pace of day to day management activity. Often managers spend their day responding to urgent needs, multi-tasking along the way. Reflection for the sake of critical thinking becomes a rarity. However, there is an added risk to the development of critical thought that is far greater than what happens in the environmental work world. It is a risk you will find right in front of your eyes and at your fingertips. The threat is to the inner-working of the brain from constant contact and essential dependence on Internet interaction. In health care we use the internet to access patient records, analyze data, orient new employees, teach patients, provide in-service to staff, and communicate with colleagues. The Internet is used for every matter of business under the “health care sun” from accreditation to proposals of funding and research. We cannot escape the necessary use of the Internet. It has become a global phenomenon.
The purpose of this presentation is to examine the physiological effects of Internet usage on the brain. The human brain is plastic and constantly changing. Physiologically, brain circuity reworks and rewires itself based on input from what is learned and experienced. Neuroscience research provides evidence that frequent use of the Internet literally changes the human brain. While cognitive skills related to scanning, sorting, multi-tasking, fact finding and instant decisions are enhanced, it comes at the expense of deeper thoughts. In Internet learning, mental processes are often bypassed necessary for moving short term information from the frontal lobe to and through the hippocampus for storage in long term memory. Focusing thought with reflection, understanding, analysis, evaluation, and imagination are all necessary elements involved in critical thinking. Application of information in new situations can happen only with retrieval of information stored in long term memory. Mindfulness matters to memory.
As new leaders “on board” into organizations, it is a duty of experienced nurse managers and administrators to foster the development of critical thought. Discussed in the presentation will be learning experiences that can be employed to close the encoding gap between short-term and long-term memory, and enhance critical thought and problem resolution. Knowledge gained from participants will assist new leaders and staff, as well as patients - to retain and retrieve information that can be applied to create change and improve outcomes.
Cynthia Plonien DNP, RN, CENP Director, Graduate Nursing Program for Nursing Administration, Clinical Associate Professor, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, University of Texas at Arlington
Dr. Cynthia Plonien DNP, RN, CENP is an associate professor at the University of Texas College of Nursing and Director of the Graduate Program in Nursing Administration supporting over 400 students enrolled in accelerated on-line courses. She received her Doctorate in Nursing Administration from Texas Christian University and her MSN and BSN from the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Plonien has recently served as Column Editor for the Executive Leadership Column in the AORN Journal. In service to the profession of nursing, she is the President of the North Central Organization of Nurse Executives, on the Board for Texas Organization of Nurse Executives, the Board for the DFW Great 100 Nurses, and the Advisory Committee on Education for the Texas Board of Nursing. She also works within her community as a member of the Parks Board for the City of Burleson, Texas. Prior to joining UTA, Dr. Plonien worked with various hospitals in organizations in the Tarrant and Johnson County area as Chief Nurse and VP of Clinical Practice. Her current professional projects include developing certificate courses in Nursing Administration - post BSN and Post Masters. Recent publications include topics on learning, budget management, cost control, administrative protocol, the use of Six Sigma for revenue retrieval, case management, communication, continuous quality improvement. and medical tourism.