In a really neat twist, my two worlds of School Nursing and Informatics have something in common this week. My school district recently updated their website, which I love, and today they added an interactive dashboard:
So how does this relate to my Healthcare Informatics studies at SBMI? This semester I am taking a class on data visualization, and we are going to learn how to design dashboards and other interactive displays. So far the classes have been very interesting. It’s great that I have a real world example that is personal to me to refer back to. This dashboard got me to thinking about my school clinic data, and how I could develop an interactive dashboard with Tableau once I get more comfortable with the program. More projects to work on!
It has been a great first week of school so far. It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after being off since early June! But It is so nice to see my students again. Part of the fun of working in an Elementary school is that the kids are just so darn cute. My boys are both in middle school now, so I enjoy getting to still interact with the littles. Granted, this week has been busy- getting the clinic schedule organized is always a challenge, and the first week of school is a lot of late evenings getting medications, procedures, tube feedings, health plans and other MD orders put into the computer. But once all that busy work is done, I can start to feel a little more settled in the clinic. Until flu season begins, I suppose.
Another cool thing that happened is that I was asked by the Johnson & Johnson Nursing Notes Live podcast to give an interview about School Nursing. I’m a huge fan of podcasts, and I listen to several on a regular basis (Gallifrey Public Radio and StarTalk are my current favorites), but being the subject of the interview was a first for me. It was great to be able to share what School Nurses do, and how we help impact the health and wellness of our students. I really enjoyed the experience.
If all that wasn’t enough, I started the fall semester in my graduate program at SBMI. Three semesters down, four to go! I’m really excited to be taking a class about data visualization, and will be learning how to use Tableau. Apparently pie charts are really bad, and shouldn’t be used. Who knew?
Ever wonder just how many students a School Nurse might see in a year? Or how many medications she might give? How about the percentage of students who return to class?
At my elementary school campus, at the beginning of each year I prepare a report for the staff that covers some stats from the past school year. Check it out here. I give a more in-depth report to my Administrators periodically during the school year as well, but this will give you an idea of what type of data School Nurses collect in their day to day work. Having an electronic health record system for all of our students really helps in that process as well.
School Nurses out there, how do you share your data with your campuses? I’d love to hear how you get the info out there, and if you use electronic health records.
No doubt you’ve heard of the IOM’s report The Future of Nursing. What I discovered recently is that you can download a free copy of the report from the National Academies Press here. I love this site, and have downloaded other articles and references for some of my Informatics classes at SBMI.
Equally cool is this great infographic, that you can either download or order in poster form.
I was SO NERVOUS when we took this picture. We were about to start our presentation titled “Making Effective Use of Electronic Student Health Data”, and as our School Nurse colleagues filed in to take a seat, we took this selfie and posted it to the #NASN Twitter feed. It helped to settle my butterflies somewhat.
My mind went from “What if no one shows up?” to “Oh thank goodness, some people have arrived” to “OMG there are a LOT of people in here now” in the 10 minutes before the presentation started. Once my colleague Yvonne started talking I scanned the audience for familiar faces, and was comforted to see several. By the time it was my turn to speak, I was much calmer and focused, and I actually surprised myself by being able to talk “about” the slides, as opposed to just reading from my notes. All in all I’m happy with the presentation, and I am glad we decided to speak on this topic. Sometimes people glaze over when I start talking to them about EHR’s and data, but the Nurses who attended the presentation were interested in the topic and asked great questions. Yeah for data geeks like me!
I saw a lot of great presentations at this conference. Among my favorites were:
Ordinary School Nurses are Extraordinary Leaders.Two past NASN Presidents spoke during this session, and I really enjoyed the contrast between their presentation styles. They talked about different leadership styles, and how “all School Nurses are leaders”. Inspiring stuff.
Here’s a plug for my friend Dawn’s blog– she’s a writer, and a good friend who has really helped inspire me to start blogging. We share a love of Sci-Fi and geek culture- she’s my Doctor Who buddy. Today I’m getting caught up on school work for my Informatics graduate degree. There are only about 5 weeks left in this term. It’s been a super fast summer! Last week was a whirlwind at the NASN conference, but now I need to buckle down and get some reading done and papers written. This is one of the articles I am reading…