Curious with nursing informatics specialty to new grada

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    Like everybody says nothing is better than having the basic first for you to be able to proceed to specializing..

    I'm just curious that in other specialty area like ER new grads are accepted and trained now my question is can this be possible to nursing informatics especially if you have the interest an passion to it?

    Don get me wrong in this thread its just a curious question..
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    The work is great if you can find it. There is that age old debate over whether you should go directly into a specialty or not. Generally people are referring to areas such as the various ICUs, L&D, OR and ED. From what I've picked up, the reason people say to avoid it, is because: 1) It's a bigger and more difficult transition and can lead to bad experiences (for yourself and your patients), 2) Since you didn't get the basic nursing care stuff (like basic skills and time management) down first, it can be hard to move out of a specialty if you find that you would prefer to do something else.

    It's up to you if you think those things are important. I went straight to the ICU and can say it was good for me, but not for a lot of other people. I'd say go for it if you can convince someone to give you a job, but generally, informatics jobs usually require a lot of experience because they want you to be a clinical subject matter expert and have leadership qualities.

    I went into the interview with two years experience as a CNA and a little over 1.5 years as an ICU RN and I can tell you there were definitely people on the panel that thought that wasn't enough. I think I was able to score points because I spent a year teaching at a charter school, volunteered as a Super User on my floor, and was involved in other leadership actives outside of work.
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    I see.. Thank you for your answer.. Sometimes I wish new grads would be allowed in specializing nursing informatics like some other specialty.. Because if you have the interest and passion for it, learning wont be a hindrance
  5. 2
    The thing with informatics is how are you going to help develop software and advise on clinical matters concerning the development of such software if you haven't had the experience? I see what you're saying but the up and coming field of nursing informatics is hot right now with all the places getting serious about electronic records/software/going paperless one really needs the actual experience to advise/develop.

    It's not like bedside nursing where someone can teach you as a precept. When you go in they want an experienced nurse who can lead the project. Also looking at programs that are already developed and working out the bugs. How is an inexperienced nurse going to program software to do something that they have no idea how to do or what steps to take? I'm not saying it's impossible but there is only so much one can learn from books. The real knowledge comes from on the job experience.
    yeng_27 and rninformatics like this.
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    I have seen both sides of this. I think it should be required to have nursing experience, particularly in a hospital setting, to specialize in informatics. So much of what we do is about making the technology work for the workflow, and adapting the workflow when technology requires a change to the workflow. It's just a really difficult thing to do if you haven't had some sort of clinical experience. You really need to understand the frustrations and challenges so you can think through the solutions.

    Having said that, I don't think it's impossible for someone who is a really good critical thinker and a go-getter to learn the ins and outs of the practice and be a great informaticist. You'll have a hell of a lot of extra homework to do. From day one on the job, I'd be putting on scrubs and shadowing for at least two weeks in every clinical position in the facility. And even then, I don't know how it would go. I know some really good HIT people who were techs, or pharmacists, or counselors, but I have yet to meet one who didn't come from some healthcare experience before moving into informatics.
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    I am very curious about NI. I have been a bedside acute care RN for 32 yrs. The past 2 years I have been doing telehealth/telephone triage. I heard this definition about telephone triage that has made me start thinking wild thoughts about going into NI at my old age,(56)--"telephone triage is part clinical nursing and part nursing informatics" 2 years ago when I was offered the job of telephone triage/telehealth in a family practice clinic- I didn't have a clue what it was but I needed a job even that one and it was only a temp( because finding a permenant position at my age and experience years in nursing was really dificult/next to impossible) I was totally confused and frustrated, and almost quite at the start even though I had done computer documentation on many different programs( Eclypse-clinical sunrise manager-my favorite, meditech-which I hate, and another I didn't take notice of). The system for the EHR they used was the government's DOD system- AHLTA which I absolutley love. Every one of my co-worker cursed this sytme and I became the unoffical "super user" even though we had an IT trainer( not a nurse) who would come to me when she needed to fuse the clinical with the IT in her explaination to another nurse This IT trainer told me I was a good teacher and I was very"methodical". I only learned my PC at home in 2003 and found I can't get off it. Last summer I had to get a faster computer and when work put on a new service pack to AHLTA I was at the computer Indy 500 and loving it. Needless to say I loved that job!! the first time in 32years, I loved a nursing job!!I found my self when it ended looking and landing another telephone triage nurse position but this time for a clinic that is trying to get their call center off the ground. I am the only nurse in the call center. I have call center reps but they can not triage and make clinical decisions. I have been told this is my baby-"make it your own". No one has ever done it there before so there is no one to run to for a speed bump- I will be it. They do have the traditional IT/computer tech staff(non nursing). I am both scared to death and excited as hell. At this new job, I have been shadowing the clinic staf around because I don't know how their routine flows. I knew how the old place's work flow was. Is this NI project managment, design and etc of the above mentioned skill set and job descriptions. I saw this as a golden opportunity even though it was quite a pay cut($15,000/Yr: $5.00/hr. $800/mo not including health insurance deduction after the probation period)

    I forgot to add, this new postion is in a public health clinic- so I think I'm kind of spread out over NI, ambulatory care and public health- a far cry from cardiac stepdown/telemetry/med/surg/oncology and endoscopy.

    I guess my question is : Is telehealth/telephone triage in the NI speciality realm? I am thinking about completing my BSN and going on to the school's the MSN in NI. What will I be suited for after this job? Before the original telehealth job, while I was unemployed I was considering getting out of nursing and taking an EHR certification course. Would this certificate still be benifical to get? I also took a 6 week coding and billing course online during this time but never worked in coding and billing. I love the computer work and searches.

    I welcome your comments and insights.
    Thank you in advance.
    Last edit by kcmylorn on Jun 11, '12 : Reason: spelling and adding more text


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