Sign up for a wearable device study by Addapp

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!

There’s been a lot of chatter on the internet recently about patient collected data, and whether or not it can and/or should be used by medical providers. View these TEDMED talks compiled by Lucien Engelen, and this primer from the ONC for some info. Also check out Dr. John K. Halamka’s “Life as a CIO” blog for his insights on collecting and using patient gathered data. You should also follow Dr. Halamka and Mr. Engelen on Twitter for future updates.

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.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

happy new year

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.

School Health Leadership applications still open

There are only four days left to apply for the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership program! I can’t say enough great things about this program. For School Nurses, who may not ever had had any sort of formal leadership training, this is a fantastic opportunity to really challenge yourself.

Is there an issue on your campus you really want to try and fix, and but feel overwhelmed or unsure how to proceed? Are you a part of important health related decisions on your campus? Do you want to be at the table for those important decisions, but just are not sure how to get there? Twist the arms of some of your fellow School Nurses, and download the application ASAP. This week long program will change the way you see yourself as a School Nurse. You will learn presentation skills, how to network with colleagues and other stakeholders, and connect with some wonderful mentors who really want you to succeed.

JJSHLP mission

I never thought I would have the guts to present at a national conference, or present a poster on a topic important to me. But this program gave me the kick start I needed to accomplish both of those goals. I promise to anyone who attends this program you will come away changed for the better. IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES! Seriously though, if you are on the fence about applying, just go for it. You’re welcome.

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 

Update from #TSNO2014

TSNO 2014 poster

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!

 

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

 

SBMI Donates Nursing Informatics Collection to TMC LIbrary

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.

 

New School Nurse Blog and ANIA info

Wow, the first month of school has been crazy busy. Between going back to work in my Elementary school clinic, my graduate school classes kicking back up, and my two kids in middle school, things have been hectic! I have not been blogging as much as I would like, but I will be back once things settle down in a few weeks.

In the meantime, check out a new blog from School Nurse BrennaQ. You can also follow Brenna here on Twitter.

And for my fellow Informatics Nurses out there, if you haven’t already, you should join the American Nursing Informatics Association, aka ANIA. They have some great resources on their website, including a vast online library where you can access CE offerings and archived webinars. They are also on social media, so check out their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. Social Media is a great avenue to connect with fellow Nurse colleagues!

Happy Friday friends!