Category Archives: Nursing

Recap of #NASN2015 with #JJSHLP

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.

jjshlp NASN pic

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.

mmayer pic

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.

 

Take the ANA Leadership courses with me!

A few weeks ago I signed up for the ANA webinar “Values Based Leadership: Creating a Culture of Ownership”. Turns out this is one of many webinar offerings from ANA’s Leadership Institute.

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”:

Florence Challenge

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:

informatics course

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?!

End of semester happiness and ANA webinar link

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.

grad school pic

Image linked from Pinterest

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.

National Library of Medicine Nursing Postcard exhibit

About a month ago I stumbled upon a link to an exhibit of Nursing postcards at the National Library of Medicine:

NLM Pictures of Nursing exhibit

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.

NLM Nursing postcard exhibit

 Images courtesy of http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/picturesofnursing/index.html 

Nurses have a duty to help educate the public on Ebola

I woke up this morning to read on Twitter that a healthcare worker in Dallas had tested positive for Ebola. As I turned on the TV to watch Face the Nation, CDC chief Dr. Frieden stated “Infections only occur when there is a breach in protocol”. They seem to be focusing on how the PPE was removed, and some of the life saving procedures that were used to try and save the index patient, Mr. Duncan, such as dialysis and intubation. You can view that interview here.

Of course the Internet is awash with conspiracy theories and misinformation about Ebola, as I noticed when checking my Facebook and Twitter feeds. As I scrolled through some people’s posts and links, I was astounded by how little some people actually know about disease transmission, specifically when it comes to a highly infectious disease such as Ebola. Ebola is not airborne. The government has not engineered Ebola to control the population. (I really saw this on Facebook. Um, wow.) This article from the New York Times has a great quote from Dr. Clay Jenkins of Dallas County:

Ebola quote

I think all healthcare workers, especially Nurses who are on Social Media, have a duty to help educate the public on this crisis. We need to be proactive and share factual, evidenced based information with the public on how Ebola is contracted, how it can be spread, and what the public can do to keep themselves safe. We need to help educate people who have misinformation about this deadly disease. Panic and hysteria doesn’t help anyone. I included some links at the end of this post that I have found useful to help spread the correct information. Look to your professional organizations for guidance and talking points as well. Most organizations today have websites and various other social media accounts, so they are are a good place to start.  (And remember, don’t feed the internet trolls.)

All healthcare workers know the risks involved with caring for highly contagious patients such as Mr. Duncan. I have been a Nurse for 17 years, and in that time I have taken care of many patients with infectious diseases, although none of those diseases were as deadly as Ebola. I won’t deny that my heart sunk when I heard the news this AM, and I immediately wondered if the healthcare worker was a nurse. Nurses spend a lot of time with their patients in ICU, especially when they are in isolation as Mr. Duncan was. I’m sad for Mr. Duncan and his family, and I am worried about this new patient and his/her family.

Center for DIsease Control

CDC Information for Healthcare Workers

US Department of Health and Human Services

Texas Department of State Health Services

Dallas County Health and Human Services

NASN radio podcast on Ebola

American Nurses Association

American Medical Association

 

Link

SBMI, where I am studying for my  Masters in Health Informatics, has recently donated a large Nursing Informatics collection to the McGovern Historical Center. McGovern has all sorts of interesting collections that have been digitzied and placed on their website, including these great vintage postcards from Texas health facilities. I especially love the old pictures from Galveston, where I went to Nursing School.

 

My two worlds have collided!

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:

KIDS logo

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!

KISD apple