A day in the life of ..............

Specialties Informatics


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF a Healthcare Informatics Professional

I've frequently been asked by visitors to this board what exactly is it that I do. Although far from a complete task list ,see below for some of what I do in a given day. Please also note that some days are more hectic and longer than others and some are shorter and less complex. I wear many hats in my current role and also have the perk of being able to work from home!

Other NI professionals please feel free to add your own versions of "a day in the life" I just ask that you remove/make generic any specific vendor names, staff names/titles or organizational references. Also remember that new and potential NI professionals may read this - so please try not to scare them off:smokin:

7:30am- 8:30am To 1South and 6North’s ( 2 of total 6 Med Surg Units I support) staff meetings to

•communicate changes to clinical information systems applications such as: improved stats on bar code medication admin, eliminate of duplicate orders in order entry system, computerization of pre-op check list, status of WOC nurses electronic documentation, and obtain user issues related to any and all clinical info systems, etc

8:30am- 9:00am Back to my office to

•proof and approve requested changes to screens for inpt assessment,

•e-mail to order entry analyst about removal of duplicate “cancel reasons” in order entry system.

•Field calls and coordinate P.C. techs completing work orders to install missing apps in GI procedure and OR rooms.

•Clarify with Directors of Quality and Cardiology about adding agenda item to Unit Secretary Computer Users group meeting - I chair this group/Q monthly meeting.

•E-mail to analyst to follow up about issue from last months Patient Care Users group meeting – I chair this group / Q monthly meeting

9:20am off to Out Pt Infusion dept meeting

•In hall ad lib conversation with VP Patient Care – Chief Nursing Officer about pending electronic improvements to facilitate medication reconciliation for discharges

• Wireless phone - in coming call cuts above convo short as Director of Telecommunications calling to give update on scheduled 6 hours clinical apps downtime occurring this weekend. Talk and walk as I head to 3rd meeting of the day.


•In 4th meeting of the day when call received from East 3 Nurse Manager that they have no downtime requisitions. Informed by admin asst that requisitions are on back order as "someone in some department erroneously ordered 2200" requisitions!!!

•Informed by Education/Staff Development dept that not all units have updated downtime forms - I work closely and collaborate frequently with nursing education and staff development departments.


•Bathroom brake – phone continues to ring but I remember my infection control practices and feel happy that I don’t have to answer while in the bathroom!!

11:10am back to my office

•Forward draft copy of memo to VP Medical Affairs and CMO that will go out to Medical Staff communicating impact of Physician Only workstation project and Diagnostic imaging/PACs project

•Declined calendar appt for next month’s Medical Informatics meeting as I have a meeting conflict – Ahhh a meeting that I do not chair but am an "invited resource"!

•Call received from COO (my boss’s boss) stating MDs reporting allergies not crossing over from archived medical records and can I please follow up and get back to her ASAP. Long story short. I dropped everything obtained details and reported back to my boss’ boss about details and resolution of issue.

•Several calls and e-mails later have discovered who ordered 2200 downtime requisitions, collected half of original order from offending department, arranged to have residual evenly distributed amongst inpt units.

•Draft action plan to resolve issues with computer and peripheral equipment that is being sunset.

•Help Director of Nursing who due to re-IPing can no longer log onto the network. Normally a PC tech responsibility but she is close to tears and her office is next to mine.

* Call Help Desk and report issues I received from clinical users when I made rounds this am - Ideally I round on clinical inpt Med Surg units, ICU, CCU, OR, PACU, GI, Peds, L&D, Post-partum, and Neonate units daily when on site.

12:00noon Put off lunch

•Attempt to prioritize and answer most important of 122 e-mails in my inbox and 20 phone messages within last 2 hours

•Begin action plan to respond to previous Joint Commission survey results

•Meeting with Nursing Managers to reinforce what resources will be needed for next downtime, upgrade of time and attendance system and implementation of patient acuity application.

1:30pm Down to cafeteria to pick up lunch and eat at desk. Believe it or not - I love my job!

•Continue answering e-mails and returning voice messages.

2:30pm -3:30pm

•Medication Safety Meeting- I dont chair this one but I am a contributing member


•Conference call with dialysis vendor about contracted staff access and security issues

•Call with Network Admin about clinical user view and print access to Physician Portal and giving on-call Radiologist VPN access

•Review query reports for bar code scanning compliance and house wide core measure stats

•Return calls left on voice mail, return e-mails


•Face to face with VP Patient Care to report status of current projects

•Completion of action plans for re-training of clinical users on OB, Post Partum, Labor and Delivery and Peds units

•Talk with Lab Director and Lab analyst about issue occuring in ICU and CCU: orders for tests entered in order entry system for QOD that are being viewed by system (and drawn by phlebotomists) as Every day.


•Prep for 4 (in person meetings) and 3 conference calls happening tomorrow

•Continue to return calls left on voice mail, continue returning e-mails, print out calendar for tomorrow.

6:45pm Bathroom brake and then I power down and undock my laptop. I am leaving the building!!!! Hey I get to go potty more times in this job than I got to go when I was a staff nurse!

Specializes in Informatics, Education, and Oncology.

Continuing my thread of "A day in the life"

I get a call from the pediatric unit and the Charge Nurse is whispering:

"I know I should have called the Help Desk but YOU have to come up here and help us NOW!!!"

"Whats wrong?" I ask

"You have to come up here right now! There are dirty words on the computer in the Play room!"

"What?........dirt words on the computer??"

"Yes, you have to come up here right now!!!"

"Okay, on my way"

I get up to the pediatric Play Room and discover that one of the older children has renamed the IE (and other) icons on the desktop of the PC .................something profane!! Yes, there are "dirty words on the computer". :nono:Apparently this device was not administratively locked down. I laugh hysterically, rename the icons and call to have the device locked down, while the Charge Nurse keeps the kids away ...............ah my job is never boring!:lol2:

Specializes in Informatics, Education, and Oncology.

Continuing "A day in the life" this one was told to me by one of my mentors.

"I was a Clinical Apps Trainer and when time and my schedule permitted I would provide 1:1 training to users. Prior to the training session the user did inform me that she was: "not as comfortable with computers as you are" I assured her that if she got through nursing school........ this would be a breeze. I was setting her up in the training room when just before beginning our class I got called away. I decided to run the CBT tutorial that was designed for those new to the application, gave her instructions to start and told her I'd be right back. Five minutes after leaving the training room I get a page with the training room extension. My new student is in tears and shouting: "It won' t reach, I've tried and it won't reach!!" I had no idea what she was talking about. When I return to the training room I found my student attempting to place the mouse on the floor to use it..............similiar to the foot pedal of a sewing machine!!! I began work (that day!) on my very first computer skills competency evaluation.......... to be given to potential trainees PRIOR to the actual clinial applications training."


15 Posts

How did you transition into nursing informatics? What are your qualifications? I would love to stay in nursing but would also like to be able to work remotely from home.


88 Posts

How did you transition into nursing informatics? What are your qualifications? I would love to stay in nursing but would also like to be able to work remotely from home.

The moderator's qualifications are listed below her name at the end of every post. She lists her degrees, licenses, and certifications.

Do you like working from home in any field?

Or Do you like nursing informatics specifically?

Specializes in Informatics, Education, and Oncology.

Greetings mmc,

I encourage you to read posts on this Forum about how other NI nurses "transitioned"

into this specialty. As Vlntrnurs wrote my degree and certifications are listed in my sig line.

I was working as a home health case manager when I was asked to participate as a super user for the implementation of the agency's electronic documentation system. Long story short, I fell in love with the technology and I am blessed to get paid to do what I love to do!. My qualifications include 23 years as a practicing RN, 10+ years in HIT consulting, project management, all phases of systems life cycle - clinical systems implementation, systems management, analysis, design, testing and training; process redesign, change management and most recently - disaster recovery/contingency planning and process improvement as it relates to technologies such as bar code medication administration, automatic drug dispensing and medication reconciliation.

Oh, I almost forgot - I'm a grad school drop out - I've done graduate level course work in Decision Support, Data Base Design and Management Information Systems but I did NOT complete my graduate degree.

How did you transition into nursing informatics? What are your qualifications? I would love to stay in nursing but would also like to be able to work remotely from home.


2,098 Posts

Sounds pretty interesting. I think I could have fun doing your job.

LOL @ the dirty words on the screen. :D

WDWpixieRN, RN

2,237 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.
Greetings mmc,

I encourage you to read posts on this Forum about how other NI nurses "transitioned"

into this specialty.

I plan to dig a little deeper in this forum, but I am a former Systems (IT) Analyst for a large brokerage firm who just graduated in May with my RN. I am currently working on a med/surg floor, but am interested in perhaps transitioning back in to a med/IT role.

Where do I start looking for jobs? I think my facility only has a few positions, but I understand that there are companies that hire RNs such as the ones that develop and implement Epic, etc.

Where do I begin to look for openings? I was going to check Monster, but I'm sure there's an easier (and more valid) locations to look! Also -- how much actual medical/floor experience do these positions usually expect?

Thanks and Happy Holidays all!!

Specializes in Informatics, Education, and Oncology.

Greetings WDWpixieRN,

Monster is okay but you may have better luck looking on the career/job sections of AMIA, ANIA, HIMSS, CARING, Healthcare Informatics, etc

Good Luck and Happy Holidays to you!!

IWhere do I begin to look for openings? I was going to check Monster, but I'm sure there's an easier (and more valid) locations to look! Also -- how much actual medical/floor experience do these positions usually expect?

Thanks and Happy Holidays all!!


17 Posts

Thank you for detailing your day, I've been learning so much about the field of nursing informatics from all your posts. Extremely appreciated!


31 Posts

Specializes in Informatics, Surgery.

I was recently asked to write a "Day in the life" post for a new blog site. It just went live this week. I saw this topic and figured I would post it in case it is of any assistance to those considering making a move in this direction. I hope you will find it interesting and helpful.

The new website is HealthcareITToday.com. My post is available here.


22 Posts

Specializes in assisted living.

I am currently a nusrsing assistant student but am deciding between pursuing either a clinical career in nursing (rn) or medical informatics. I would like to start school next fall (2011) but do not know what to study. I would like to relocate to d.c./maryland/va area, because it seems to be where all the healthcare jobs are. A lot of people have told me that I would enjoy a career in informatics than in nursing. My concerns are job security, salary & the ability to learn new things/training on the job. I would like advice from someone who is actually working in this area. I understand that those who are not in healthcare would be opposed to nursing due to the fact you are in close proximity to the sick & therefore would advise a career not dealing with that.

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