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.
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.
Check out this interesting 6 month study using wearable devices by Addapp Labs. You first have to download their app, and set up an account. Next go and sign up for the study on their website, and answer a few questions about what type of data you currently track, what you are interested in, and why they should choose you to wear one of the devices for 6 months. They will contact you if you meet the requirements for the study. You can also follow Addapp on Twitter for updates. Patient collected data is the wave of the future, and I think there are enormous benefits to it’s use. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am selected for this study!
Personally I think the more control people have over their own data, the more invested they will ultimately be in their health. And I think there is a large amount of uncollected data that can be used to help complete the picture of a person’s overall health and wellness. (School Nurse data, anyone?) This data can be of enormous use to clinicians to help them care for their patients. The trick is figuring out how to best collect it, and then how to apply and use it.
I haven’t posted in quite some time, and I have been meaning to get back into the blog. This semester I have been so busy at school, but things are finally settling down. Over the weekend I attended the Texas School Nurses Organization conference, and lucky for me it was here in Houston! I really enjoy attending conferences. It’s always so interesting to me to hear from other people in my profession how they work, what challenges they have overcome, and what they like and/or don’t like about their careers. I always come away with new information, and new colleagues to keep in touch with. I presented a poster on School Nurses and Social Media while there, and helped coordinate the Twitter feed #TSNO2014. It was a great conference, and I am glad I got the opportunity to work with TSNO and run the Twitter feed during the conference. Now if I could just convince more School Nurses to Tweet!
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!