Yale Expert on Health Technology Inducted into American Academy of Nursing

Marjorie Funk, a professor at the Yale School of Nursing and expert on health care technology, has been elected to fellowship in the American Academy of Nursing, the profession’s highest honor.

Funk will be inducted formally at the organization’s annual meeting in November. She will be the 13th member of Yale’s active faculty to be elected to the academy.

Defining her research program as “the wise use of technology in patient care,” Funk explores the appropriate and safe use of technology, the equitable distribution of technology and the human-machine connection. Specifically, she has examined the potential of distance monitoring to improve health care and also has studied the role of human workers in interpreting and acting upon data gathered mechanically.

Through her clinical practice with cardiac patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Funk came to appreciate that technology can actually form an additional bond between provider and patient.

“As I matured as a practitioner, I realized that I had to become the master of the technology and not its servant. Only after I became proficient with technology could I transcend it and use it as a vital means to the end of holistic care,” Funk said. “Only when I felt truly comfortable with the machines did I feel safe enough to devote more time and attention to my patients’ comfort. Technology no longer dominated my practice, but instead became an adjunct and support to it. I began to appreciate that being technically competent is one of the most visible ways a nurse can exhibit caring.”

Dean Catherine Lynch Gilliss praised Funk’s “enormous contributions both to Yale and to nursing. Marge is not only a superb clinician with an important program of research, she is a generous and insightful mentor both to YSN students and to her colleagues in clinical practice.”

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