Umm, yes. That and Facebook, Twitter, SMS, email, MP3s, high-fructose corn syrup and video games.
It’s so easy to fool spell check too. Example: I was board with my roll at work. Sure, it’s all spelled correctly, but the usage is definitely not. My first degree involved a ton of reading and writing, banging out 10 page essays was child’s play, so I have an eye for errors and I see it all the time. One job I worked at in nursing school had a typing portion where we were read a paragraph and had to type it without spell check. We were then graded on how many mistakes we made, which played into the company’s decision to hire us. From what I heard later on, it wasn’t pretty.
It’s not just with kids/teens, but it happens in the work place. Even in our new EMR, there was a spelling mistake, using “course” instead of “coarse” for describing breath sounds. Reliance upon technology makes us complacent, thinking that the red squiggly line will fix our writing errors, is like relying just upon the EKG to determine a patients’ diagnosis.
Being able to speak well and successfully convey ideas in a written format is essential to survive in our society. As nurses we have to translate what we see/feel/hear into words and phrases to ensure others coming after us can understand what it was we were encountering. Sometimes it works, “bibasilar coarse crackles heard”, others “rumbling sound heard” it doesn’t. That’s why it’s important. Having new nurses, or folks right out of school with the inability to do this beyond, “LOL” or “OMG, ur so rite! :-)” becomes a concern, even moreso when you realize that even modern EMRs don’t come equipped with spell check…