Please help me because I'm 100% lost

  1. So this is actually going to sound really stupid (I know that there are people out there who might tell me to search this forum and find answers on my own - I hear ya, I've got Asperger's/HFA so bear with me) but what exactly is nursing informatics?

    Under specialties for Nursing Informatics on this website it states "Nursing informatics is a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice.

    I mean from what I'm reading it says nursing + computer & information science that leads to (->) nursing data/information/knowledge/wisdom. Data/information/knowledge/wisdom...aren't all four of those words synonymous to each other and describe one single concept?[FONT=Helvetica Neue][COLOR=#454545] [/COLOR][/FONT]What the heck does that even mean?

    I don't mean to insult anyone who is a nurse informaticist, I got my BSN and I'm actually thinking about going back to get my MSN in health/nursing informatics.

    But if you had to put it into words, what is nursing informatics? What do you do while you're at work? What does a typical day look like? Do I need to know how to write computer code? What should I look for in informatic school programs that will help me be most successful?
    Last edit by AesthesiaSeeker on Jan 5 : Reason: Accidentally left out a paragraph
  2. Visit AesthesiaSeeker profile page

    About AesthesiaSeeker, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jul '13; Posts: 49; Likes: 18


  3. by   llg
    I'll let someone from nursing information discuss their typical day ... but I will tackle your other question about data/information/knowledge/wisdom as that was something I studied in graduate school.

    Those words describe concepts that are similar, but not identical. Each represents a different level of knowledge. In other words:

    "Data" is a collection of single facts that may or may not fit together or have any significant meaning. For example, you could have a list of responses to a questionnaire in which the questions aren't related to each other in any way. Or ... a little light is "on" or it is "off" -- and you don't know what the little light being on means. That would be data, but there would be no meaningful knowledge or wisdom there.

    When you organize and process bits of data that relate to other, you have some "information" about the topic or situation. When you further process the information, assign meaning to it, connect it to other meaningful information, etc. ... you can develop "knowledge" about a subject -- knowledge that helps you understand the world. "Wisdom" is the highest level, representing not only an understanding of the basic facts and more sophisticated knowledge about a subject, but also possessing the intellectual and moral ability to make sophisticated judgements about the situation.

    Does that explanation help you see the differences in the terms? A person may have a lot of random data that doesn't mean anything to them. Data only becomes useful when it is related to other data, assigned meaning, etc. to build information, knowledge and wisdom. People who work with data/information/knowledge/wisdom on a regular basis find these distinctions very important.
  4. by   AesthesiaSeeker
    @llg: Thank you, I hadn't really thought through it all in the perspective. It really makes a lot more sense, I just kept getting stuck in a circle.
  5. by   nurse2033
    Informatics also does a lot with electronic medical record. As an educator I'm talking to them all the time about how to arrange our documentation. For example, they can add clocks that will prompt the nurse to document every 2 hours that might align with a policy. Or what elements to include in an assessment related to a complaint.
  6. by   Informatics Queen
    Nursing Informatics or Clinical Informatics serve as a liaison between the end user and computer analyst. One must truly be savvy in the clinical and technical world.
  7. by   mmc51264
    I tend to be on the end-user spectrum. We still have nurses on my unit that hate the computers and charting. I am an unofficial informaticist where I am. I am on the Informatics council for my hospital and we are constantly trying to optimize our EPIC platform. We have 3 different hospitals in the system, multiple sites, like outpatient clinics and ambulatory clinics. Each entity has different needs. I am not an EPIC builder or a programmer, I collect data from my unit and take it to the council to give input.
    I also help precept new nurses to make their charting more efficient for our unit. When everything is on the flowsheet, they can get lost charting, I show them how to configure their flowsheets, I call the IT people to help with glitches and issues with hardware.
    I am not sure I feel prepared to be a stand alone Informaticist, but right now that is what I like
    I also am the diabetes expert for my unit and I work with the endocrine CNSs to help with flowsheets to help nurses chart for a diabetic pt, how to recognize some medication errors and I do hypoglycemic audits.

    It is such a broad field. I like the part that I contribute to. Others, with more coding and data analysis experience may gravitate toward that niche