Well my goodness I haven’t posted since the end of 2017! The time since then and now has been eventful as always…
I am still working at Texas Children’s Hospital, which I love. I moved into a new role a few months ago, and have been enjoyed the challenge of redefining my skillset yet again. I work in Perioperative Services as a Clinical Data Specialist with a great team, and am looking forward to some exciting projects there.
The DNP journey has been put on hold for the time being. With two kids in high school, one of whom will be graduating next year, it wasn’t the right time to be pursuing my doctorate. In a few years both boys will be off on their own at college or some other adventure, so I will revisit going back to school. Right now I am just enjoying being more present for my family, and it’s nice not having my nose in my laptop every evening and all weekend.
If you have a passion for Informatics and you’re not a current member of HIMSS, I highly encourage you to join. Depending on where you work, your organization may already have an affilation and you can take advantage of a complimentary membership.
I’m looking forward to #HIMSS19, where I will have a poster at the Nursing Informatics Symposium. I’m still working with NASN on their data initiative “Every Student Counts”, and the poster will address the challenges facing school nurses around data interoperability. Stay tuned for posts and updates from that event!
I’m back! The last eight months have been a whirlwind of activity…let’s see:
I started a new job at Texas Children’s Hospital on the Clinical Informatics team. TCH is a world renowned hospital for women and children in the Texas Medical Center, and I am so impressed with the organizational culture. I work with a talented team of nurse informaticists, and am looking forward to collaborating with them on the many upcoming projects we have in the works.
Remember how I said I needed a break from school? Guess who started the DNP program at UT Health School of Nursing? I’m loving the scholarly focus, and wish there were more hours in the day so I could read everything they assign!
HURRICANE HARVEY. Ugh. We were very fortunate to not flood during this epic storm, but my community was pretty hard hit, and many close friends were completeley flooded out of their homes.
The Alliance for Nursing Informatics has a Twitter feed now, which I help run. Follow them today to learn all about what ANI does, and how you can get involved.
I was asked by NASN to write a guest blog for HIMSS on Immunization data. You can read all about that here.
I am throwing my hat into the ring for a national ANIA Board position. If you are an ANIA member, I’d love to have your vote! You have until November 10th to cast a vote. And if you are not a member of the American Nursing Informatics Association, consider joining today. I have met and learned from many talented informaticists, and gained new friends in the process.
Well I guess it has been quite a while since I last posted. The last six months have been a whirlwind…
First I started a new job as a Physician Clinical Support Analyst at Memorial Herman in the Texas Medical Center. The last time I worked in the Med Center was early 2001, when I was still an ICU Nurse. Boy have things changed! I forgot how large and sprawling the hospital complexes are. My facility, which is a teaching hospital and Level I Trauma Center, always has something innovative and exciting going on. I work with a great team, and even though I have only been there five months I am enjoying the work. We train all of the new incoming resident and attending Physicians on the EHR, as well as work on a multitude of other projects to help enhance Clinician use of all things digital.
Then this happened…
I FINALLY GRADUATED! My three year journey to obtain my Masters in Applied Healthcare Informatics from SBMI finally concluded in May. The graduation ceremony was a blur and at the TMC X facility, which looks like an exciting place to work. The first few weeks after graduation I actually had this nagging feeling I was forgetting to take a quiz, or finish editing a paper. It definitely took me a while to shift out of “school mode”. I’m proud that I took the leap three years ago and applied to SBMI, but also a little sad it is now all over.
So what’s next? I’ve recently become involved in Houston HIMSS as well as ANIA Houston. I’ve been at my new job almost six months now, but there is still so much to learn. In some aspects I am starting over professionally, as this is a very different type of job for me. This is also the first summer in six years I don’t have a school nurse schedule, so no summer break for me! I am still in touch with my NASN and JJSHLP friends, but sadly I will not be able to attend NASN2016 this year. I’ll be busy with my team training all of the new UT Resident Physicians. More updates soon!
“four people can video chat simultaneously as an audience watches, comments and can instantly switch places with one of the four video”
It’s turned out to be a pretty cool, and quite addictive lil app. I’ve participated in two ‘blabs’. Which is basically a video chat on steroids. We can interact/chat with all 4 on video, while engaging with an audience from Twitter. And the video guests can be interchanged (at the hosts discretion).
This app has endless possibilities! You can record the ‘blab’ and then you will get an audio and video file emailed to you to utilize how you wish.
I’m planning on using it to invite guests to ‘blab about nursing’ in the very near future!!! (*hint *hint)
“All I did was roll and tape these towels to support the NICU patient’s feet”
“Really? You think this is innovative? All I did was wrap the trachea tube around my stethoscope to protect the tubing.”
There I was listening to these nurses next to their patients essentially describing how they were making for their patients, without even flinching. My team and I spent 60,00 miles last year finding and having conversations like these throughout hospitals around America. We heard stories about the devices, the patients that inspired them, the tools and the process. Our challenge was not finding these examples of making, but rather convincing the nurses who made them that—yes!—silk tape and towels as patient support structures are a healthcare innovation worth noting. It’s the everyday making that’s saving our patients, not just the grandiose ideas that are incubated over 10 years. We call them MakerNurses.
June went by in a whirlwind! #NASN2015 was just a few weeks ago, and I attended as not only a poster presenter, but an exhibitor with the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Program. I was so fortunate to be asked to participate in the exhibitor booth with many other past fellows of the program. We were able to share details of the program with many school nurse colleagues, and meet some of the new Fellows who will be coming through the program in July. I am having fun running the @JJSHLP Twitter feed, and we took a lot of pictures during the conference at our booth. Check out their Facebook page, as well as the JJSHLP website for more details on the program.
Also in June I finished up school on my campus, and said goodbye to a lot of wonderful families, students and teachers from the elementary school where I worked. I love that I can stay connected with many of them through Facebook and other social media channels. It will be so nice to watch my former students grow up from a distance. The end of school was bittersweet, though. I have worked as a school nurse for the past six years, and I can honestly say they have been six of the most productive years of my career, in terms of opportunities and advancement. I remember vividly a colleague trying to dissuade me from entering the school nurse profession, on the basis that it would stall my career, and hurt me professionally. As this was someone I admired and respected very much, her words did give me pause. But I went forth anyway, and have never looked back and/or regretted any decisions during my school nurse career path. It has opened me up to a multitude of new opportunities that I honestly do not think I would have discovered in another nursing specialty. I have been connected to several mentors that have helped and encouraged me along the way. I learned a lot about myself, and on the rare occasions when I look back on my past professional journey prior to school nursing I cringe at how I handled many situations.
I’ve learned from all those experiences, however, and going forward I now know what not to do. I’ve also learned not to let others limit my thinking as to what I should or should not try to do to grow myself professionally. And by that I don’t mean I just go blazing into new opportunities without seeking guidance from mentors and other colleagues. But now I don’t limit myself to “Well, I’m just a nurse, and since I’ve never done XYZ before, I can’t do it now.” I love the quote from Marissa Mayer above- it was a poster on the wall of the elementary school I worked at, and it really struck me the first time I saw it. I snapped a pic of it, and refer to it often, when I am thinking about starting a new venture.
With only 13 days left in the school year, things seem to be wrapping up quickly. The end of year flurry of getting my clinic closed up for summer vacation has commenced. The last day of school will be bittersweet for me, because I have decided not to return to my elementary campus next year. With only three classes left before I graduate with my Masters in Healthcare Informatics, I decided the time was right to go ahead and start looking for a new job. I’m optimistic that my unique nursing background along with my Masters degree will make me a good candidate for an Informatics position. So keep your fingers crossed for me!
I’m still going to stay in touch with my school nurse colleagues, and I will be attending #NASN2015 next month to present my poster on social media. I also plan to keep working with the J&J School Health Leadership Program, which I’m really excited about. (Follow them on Twitter and Facebook, by the way.)
Stay tuned for all the posts from #NASN2015. Jessica Porter has some great activities in store for the NASN Twitter mentors.