“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.
Great article about the importance of nurses publishing their work:
“And something else is lost when nurses don’t write about what they do—the opportunity to let other health care providers and the public know the real scope of our role in health care. Few people are aware of the true contribution that nurses make to health care both at the bedside and beyond. There is still a lack of understanding about the complexity of nurses’ roles as clinicians, let alone the work we do in the policy arena, on social justice issues, with community health (locally, nationally, and globally), and in developing innovative models of care.”
The first webinar is on January 29th, but there are a few readings to do ahead of time. Once you sign up, you will receive a link to log in to your dashboard, which you can then personalize with your picture and other info about yourself. (Am I the only one who loves to set up their profile? It’s fun to customize and make it your own.)
The best part is this webinar is FREE if you are an ANA member, and you also will get CE’s and access to several free e-books, one of which is “The Florence Prescription”:
I am going to diligently work through all of the course offerings, as some of them as self-paced and some are available via webinar. Can’t wait to get to the Informatics one:
I’d love to hear feedback from other Nurses who are going through the courses as well. Right now I am going to do the readings for this first webinar, and then I will post an update after the January 29th webinar. Who’s with me?!
I have made it through yet another semester of grad school! This one was tough, I have to admit. Learning to work in Tableau was very challenging, but I hope to be able to use it again in the future. I have always found that to become proficient in a new software program, you have to work in it on a daily basis, and have a resource person you can contact as needed. After this semester, I won’t really have any opportunity to work in this program in the immediate future. I learned a lot about Tableau this semester, but I also learned what I don’t know about data and statistical analysis. That’s the beauty of going back to school I suppose- you realize there are vast new worlds of knowledge that you know nothing about.
Even though I have been a nurse for almost 18 years, I am slightly embarrassed to admit I just recently joined the ANA. I have been pleased with their online offerings, and have really been watching their posts about the ANA Leadership Institute. ANA members get access to free webinars, such as this one on January 29th on “Creating a Culture of Ownership”. I also recently ordered the newest edition of the Nursing Informatics Scope and Standards of Practice via nursebooks.org, and received an ANA member discount. There are numerous benefits to belonging to your professional organization, but the free resources and discounted publications are definitely one of the best benefits.
About a month ago I stumbled upon a link to an exhibit of Nursing postcards at the National Library of Medicine:
It’s interesting to see some of the historical images of Nursing, and how Nurses have been portrayed in the past in media and advertising. My family and I are planning a trip to the Washington, D.C. area in the Spring, so I hope we have to time check this exhibit out in person. In the meantime, click on the picture below to be taken to an online gallery.