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!
It has been a great first week of school so far. It’s always hard to get back into the swing of things after being off since early June! But It is so nice to see my students again. Part of the fun of working in an Elementary school is that the kids are just so darn cute. My boys are both in middle school now, so I enjoy getting to still interact with the littles. Granted, this week has been busy- getting the clinic schedule organized is always a challenge, and the first week of school is a lot of late evenings getting medications, procedures, tube feedings, health plans and other MD orders put into the computer. But once all that busy work is done, I can start to feel a little more settled in the clinic. Until flu season begins, I suppose.
Another cool thing that happened is that I was asked by the Johnson & Johnson Nursing Notes Live podcast to give an interview about School Nursing. I’m a huge fan of podcasts, and I listen to several on a regular basis (Gallifrey Public Radio and StarTalk are my current favorites), but being the subject of the interview was a first for me. It was great to be able to share what School Nurses do, and how we help impact the health and wellness of our students. I really enjoyed the experience.
If all that wasn’t enough, I started the fall semester in my graduate program at SBMI. Three semesters down, four to go! I’m really excited to be taking a class about data visualization, and will be learning how to use Tableau. Apparently pie charts are really bad, and shouldn’t be used. Who knew?
Ever wonder just how many students a School Nurse might see in a year? Or how many medications she might give? How about the percentage of students who return to class?
At my elementary school campus, at the beginning of each year I prepare a report for the staff that covers some stats from the past school year. Check it out here. I give a more in-depth report to my Administrators periodically during the school year as well, but this will give you an idea of what type of data School Nurses collect in their day to day work. Having an electronic health record system for all of our students really helps in that process as well.
School Nurses out there, how do you share your data with your campuses? I’d love to hear how you get the info out there, and if you use electronic health records.
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!
It’s been a busy summer. Pretty soon it will be back to school time, and I will be getting my clinic ready, as well as starting another semester of graduate school. I’ll have an update soon, but here’s a sneak peak at where I was a few weeks ago…
I’ve been searching a lot on the Internet lately for Nursing and Nurse-written blogs. One of the topics I’m really interested in is how and why Nurses are using social media. As someone who has used apps like Twitter and Facebook for many years in a personal capacity, I have been hesitant to delve into Social Media as a professional. I’m most comfortable on Social Media just as I am in my real life, as an observer. I can spend hours reading Twitter posts and articles from others, yet only comment occasionally. I rarely post on polarizing issues, and I’m also not one to post a lot of personal details. (Starting a blog has been a big step outside my box, to say the least.)
My hubby, Mom and sister are all Nurses, and they use social media as well but more in a personal capacity like me. And as the mother of two pre-teen boys, I can tell you they live and die by their Instagram feeds, text messages from their friends and YouTube videos of the latest Xbox game. I’ve spent many a late night perusing their phones while they are fast asleep.
So when I found this list of Nursing blogs on the AJN blog, I felt like I had hit the jackpot. It’s going to take me time to go through the list and digest all these blogs. One of my current projects is to read all the Nursing blogs I can get my hands on, and see what is out there. The ANA has guidelines for social media use, but I’m curious to know if and how these translate into real life. Do most Nurses heed the ANA recommendation, and have separate social media accounts for their personal and professional lives?
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.
One highlight for me during the NASN conference was the poster session. As part of the Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership team from Klein ISD, we have all spent many hours working on our Enduring Change project. Our team decided to present a poster about our project, to gain experience with presenting in a professional setting as well as share the progress we have made with our initiative.
I did not realize until we started to work on the poster content that everything would be digital, and the “poster” would in fact be created using Power Point and displayed on a large TV screen. (The digital nerd in me was super impressed). After MANY revisions, we were happy with the final product, and felt the red background of the J&J template worked well with the graphic that our team member Yvonne designed. The day of the poster session we assembled our team (in matching Klein ISD Health Services shirts!) to answer questions from the attendees and hand out info related to our poster and project.
We were honored to win an award for our poster in the Health Promotion category, and I don’t think Brittany took the award ribbon off all night!
I attended all three of the poster sessions, and really enjoyed the experience. There were posters on research studies, posters on long term projects like ours, posters about students with rare medical conditions, posters on school wellness initiatives, and posters on smaller projects that School Nurses had completed on their own individual campuses. Creating a poster seems like an intimidating prospect, but it really is not! On my own campus, I can think of a few programs we have done that could be poster worthy: the yearly Health Fair, our “Walk to School Day” in the fall, the “Bubble Patrol” that rewards students for good handwashinghabits, and our use of websites and social media to keep in touch with our parents.
The point is that as School Nurses we are already participating in poster-worthy projects on a daily basis in our clinics. Presenting a poster at your state or national conference is a great way to be recognized for all your hard work, and champion your projects. It also gives you a tremendous sense of satisfaction to see all of your hard work and efforts reflected on a fancy digital screen for all the world to see.
What poster-worthy project can you think of from your own campus? Consider sharing it at your next conference!