Getting Re-acquainted with Cardiac Step-down and the Darn Computer System Called EPIC

  1. 1
    Hi,

    Well to make a long story short. I have been a nurse for about 18 years-ish or so. Got my start in acute care on a cardiac telemetry unit as a first job. Then started working ER and Trauma a few years. Then, eventually went into management positions of various sorts - which even though encouraged to pursue management - it just didn't work out.

    So - after being away from the bedside for 5 years-ish or so. And completely took a break from healthcare and work alltogether for about a year. I have decided to go back to the bedside on an Open Heart Step Down Unit.

    Just had open house orientation this week and will be taking tele course soon. Then ACLS and on the floor for the hands on orientation.

    I know that the hands on clinical will come with a little bit of time. However - the computer system called EPIC.....well - that is a different story! And I am someone that is well acquainted with computers..........Just not this software program.

    We went through some of the EPIC orientation this week, but still feel lost. Even, just getting started assigning patients to yourself seems to be a bit of a task. If I can get past this, well - then I think the rest will come a bit easier. This appears to be a better program than the facility I came from had - but geez!

    Does anyone have any recommendations for someone like me coming back to the bedside and experiencing EPIC for the first time? I really would like to self study at home. (of course work with IS/IT/Nurse informatist too)

    Any web sites out there for tutorials? I know that the software can be somewhat hospital specific - but I would like to think the basics are fairly similar.

    A bit overwhelmed.....
    Ginger
    Joe V likes this.

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 1
    I don't know if it is the same EPIC that we used, and I am only a student, but we had to learn how to use EPIC for our 1st med-surg clinical. We only had one day of training and then were expected to know how to use it. At first it was difficult but after asking some of the nurses how to navigate it became easier. Also, we students only had one day of training but the new nurses had at least a few days of computer training if not more. I volunteer at another hospital that does not use EPIC and their EMARs seem easier to navigate, but EPIC wasn't too bad once you figured out where everything was.
    Ginger35 likes this.
  4. 1
    I don't know about resources, but after I took an Epic class for work the instructor sent home the paperwork with us and the work environment had an Epic "playground" application where you could do whatever you wanted on the computer with imaginary patients. I learned to really like Epic over time - there is so much stuff you can do! Sadly, the place I'm starting a new job at soon doesn't use Epic, and I will once again be learning a new computer system.
    Ginger35 likes this.
  5. 1
    Ive been using EPIC around 4 years now, it gets easier. I remember going from paper to EPIC when i started traveling and it was a tad painfull. At least you are orienting for a while and will have someone with you. As a traveler, one day of orientation then thrown to the wolves with 2 ICU admits and EPIC. I think each build is different, but maybe make a small card that reminds you of how often you need to chart on

    Total assesment
    Vitals signs- its nice if you have monitors that slave in
    I/O's
    How to add in lines/drains/airways
    Careplan and education can be a bit tricky untill you figure it out

    You can copy and paste assesments. I usually will from the previous shift but I go through it with a fine tooth comb before I validate and make changes if I dont agree with soemthing/something is new.


    -I know that on my left side bar there is a tab specifically for patient labels, see if you have that so you can print easily
    -On my "overview" under "patient summary" top bar I have a "labs" and a "comprehensive vital sign" tab locked in so when im reviewing my charts in the AM I can quickly look at labs and vitals trends since admission, its easier to look at and trend numbers then the "results review" tab on the left

    theres honestly a lot of features I dont personally use, ive become good at my routine, but if they have the "EPIC playground" function, utilize that and practice documenting and admission, discharge, assesment, ect.
    Ginger35 likes this.
  6. 0
    Wow! I really appreciate the responses. I think EPIC is better than other electronic charting software (to remain nameless) - just even getting started has proved challenging at least for me anyway. I know that this playground has been meantioned before in class. I think we have to actually go to the hospital to use it. Don't think I can access that from home.

    I will follow-up on what has been suggested on here. Anything to make this and patient care go a bit easier.
  7. 0
    I don't have specific comments about EPIC but you are not alone struggling with charting software. I have yet to use one that was user friendly or even a little bit intuitive and I also consider myself very computer literate. Good luck, it gets easier the more you use it.
  8. 1
    I am an Epic trainer. Most of the facilities I have been associated with have a place on their health systems intranet to go and obtain info specific to Epic, i.e. playground, log ins and patients to use in the playground, quick start guides, etc. When you start your Epic training, you will be shown how to access the playground, an environment that has fictitious patients and scenarios. However, as with most new things, repetition is the key to your success with Epic. The more you use the program, the easier it will be. Good luck!
    Rensoul likes this.
  9. 0
    Ginger,

    My facility went to EPIC this last year. At first it was a bit intimidating, but it does get better. Once you've practiced a bit it makes more sense. The biggest thing I've run into is knowing where to find where things are in the Order Entry tab because they aren't always labeled the way you would think they would be. I will say that it makes discharges SOOOO much easier. It took about a month for me personally after training to become really competent with it. We'll be optimizing the system soon, so will have some revised features to work with. I'm in Med/surg ortho-neuro so I usually have anywhere from 4-7 patients. Charting as you go is a life saver and personally I feel it's more intuitive in EPIC than it is in Cerner or Care-link.

    Keep practicing, the playground is a great resource.

    RenSoul
  10. 0
    I wouldn't worry about it, next year U will have to learn the IRS software that will replace all current programs in place.
  11. 0
    Quote from EMR*LPN
    I am an Epic trainer. Most of the facilities I have been associated with have a place on their health systems intranet to go and obtain info specific to Epic, i.e. playground, log ins and patients to use in the playground, quick start guides, etc. When you start your Epic training, you will be shown how to access the playground, an environment that has fictitious patients and scenarios. However, as with most new things, repetition is the key to your success with Epic. The more you use the program, the easier it will be. Good luck!
    Ginger,
    I agree with the quoted post above. I am nurse who became an Epic Trainer for the Hospital Nurses at our facility. I've been doing this for about two years and do hear comments like you've stated before of not feeling ready or simply being overwhelmed. Epic can be very intimidating at first glance, but as time (and repitition) goes on it will get easier. I've seen many do a total 180 turn after actually using Epic for a few days on the floor. It's nice to have an orientation also and learn from others. Utilize the Practice environment also as mentioned by various others.


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