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!
It looks like Spring is finally here! I am sitting in my sunny living room with the windows open, loving this beautiful weather. The semester is winding down, for both my school nurse job and my graduate program. Some exciting news to report- my article on School Nurses and social media is going to be published this May in the NASN School Nurse journal! I am very proud of this accomplishment, and can’t wait to see it both online and in the journal. There will be a podcast to go along with the article, so stay tuned for that. I am also going to present a poster on the same topic at the NASN Annual conference in Philadelphia this summer, which will be a great experience.
My family and I spent Spring Break in Washington, D.C. this year. My Houston born kids were over the moon when we landed and there was snow on the ground. We had a very busy week sightseeing at all of the popular places there- the National Mall and Monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the Holocaust museum, and Arlington cemetery. It was a fun week, and I am glad we got to spend some quality family time together.
This time next year I will be graduating from SBMI with my Healthcare Informatics Masters degree, so I am beginning my job search for an Informatics position. It’s time to start putting all those theories into practice! It’s always nerve wracking to shift gears and move in a different direction professionally, but that has always been the case with my nursing career. I’m still going to keep ties with my school nursing colleagues, as I think there are still some untapped opportunities there. I have been fortunate to be a member of several committees and workgroups at the regional, state and national level, and I am constantly learning new things from my colleagues. And just when I thought I was done completely with school, I learned of this. DNP, anyone? Maybe I’m not done after all!
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.
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!
So I’ve spent a lot of time this week getting my school clinic ready. School starts on August 25th, and I am excited to see all of my students again! I have a clinic blog over there that I have recently started, called Nurse Notes. I am trying to come up with a way to get information out to our parents without overwhelming them with paper, as well as keeping my school website uncluttered. It’s a work in progress. NASN has a great Back to School checklist for parents that I have over there. Thanks for checking my school blog out!