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.
Well I guess it has been quite a while since I last posted. The last six months have been a whirlwind…
First I started a new job as a Physician Clinical Support Analyst at Memorial Herman in the Texas Medical Center. The last time I worked in the Med Center was early 2001, when I was still an ICU Nurse. Boy have things changed! I forgot how large and sprawling the hospital complexes are. My facility, which is a teaching hospital and Level I Trauma Center, always has something innovative and exciting going on. I work with a great team, and even though I have only been there five months I am enjoying the work. We train all of the new incoming resident and attending Physicians on the EHR, as well as work on a multitude of other projects to help enhance Clinician use of all things digital.
Then this happened…
I FINALLY GRADUATED! My three year journey to obtain my Masters in Applied Healthcare Informatics from SBMI finally concluded in May. The graduation ceremony was a blur and at the TMC X facility, which looks like an exciting place to work. The first few weeks after graduation I actually had this nagging feeling I was forgetting to take a quiz, or finish editing a paper. It definitely took me a while to shift out of “school mode”. I’m proud that I took the leap three years ago and applied to SBMI, but also a little sad it is now all over.
So what’s next? I’ve recently become involved in Houston HIMSS as well as ANIA Houston. I’ve been at my new job almost six months now, but there is still so much to learn. In some aspects I am starting over professionally, as this is a very different type of job for me. This is also the first summer in six years I don’t have a school nurse schedule, so no summer break for me! I am still in touch with my NASN and JJSHLP friends, but sadly I will not be able to attend NASN2016 this year. I’ll be busy with my team training all of the new UT Resident Physicians. More updates soon!
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.
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!
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!
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…
Welcome to my blog! I’m 5 days away from attending my very first NASN conference. I’ve started this blog to capture my experiences at the conference in San Antonio, as well as my journey to a Master’s degree in Informatics. Stay tuned…