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  1. TheInformaticsNurse

    My identity crisis

    The wonderful ICU that I worked in until I switched to a career in Nursing Informatics accepted nurses from a wide variety of backgrounds. I came from a Med/Surg then Step-down ICU background, but I have a friend in that same unit who had an Ophthalmology clinic/procedure area background (and who in my opinion became one of the best nurses in the unit). I would think many/most ICUs use a set of criteria to determine which nurses to hire, which may include nurses' clinical background/specialty but would also include other attributes such as the nurses' ability to make appropriate/wise decisions even in stressful situations, positive attitude, great work ethic, etc. My point being that I would choose to work in a unit where I'm happy and supported and would have a greater chance of growing (and excelling) professionally, which would put me in a better position to eventually steer my career to where I would ultimately want to go. :-) Best of luck to you!
  2. TheInformaticsNurse

    Med admin window

    I've never been a school nurse, but as someone who reviews policies and regulations as part of my current job, I recommend that you review your school (or district's) policies about the medication administration window (and medication administration in general). In the hospital setting, there are written policies which are reviewed and approved by clinical/institutional leaders and even committees, that specify whether the med admin window is 1 hour or 1.5 hours, etc. It may be possible that your current situation already has a policy outlining what you would need to do. If not, it may be a good idea to have one, not just for yourself but for any other nurse who may be in your role.
  3. TheInformaticsNurse

    In the ICU, do you get a tech?

    I used to work in an ICU where there used to be CNAs, but that eventually got phased out. After that, we had "float nurses" who gave breaks and assisted with nursing tasks when needed. Otherwise, we did all of the bedside care that CNAs used to help with including turning, bathing, etc.
  4. TheInformaticsNurse

    The Science of Self Doubt and How to Overcome It

    Thank you for writing the article, NeuronGeek! I know several of the items you discussed, but needed to hear (or read) it again today! :-)
  5. TheInformaticsNurse

    Anyone have experience in NI?

    As super user at your facility, you are providing value and service that is helpful to your colleagues and ultimately to your patients, and that is commendable. It could also be a starting point to a career in Nursing Informatics. That is actually how I started in my career as a nurse informaticist -as a super user for a couple of EHR implementations. There are many roles to fill in the Nursing Informatics field, and not all of them may need prior background in IT or computer science, although those could be helpful for certain roles/jobs. Some nurses don't even move departments when they take on an NI role - they can be "embedded" nurse informaticists within their own nursing department, such as Periop. For example, nurses can function as facilitators and coordinators whenever a change in the electronic health record (EHR) needs to be implemented, or they can even initiate the change themselves by identifying a gap and recommending a solution. Other nurse informaticists are in charge of creating and maintaining reports and using data analytics to identify issues/possible problem(s) and their solution(s). Still other nurse informaticists may be responsible for configuring or customizing off-the-shelf EHR software in order to meet the needs of the clinicians, while others coordinate various projects to improve both the electronic documentation tools as well as the data/information extracted from those tools. There's a lot of things that nurses can do, learn, and contribute to in NI! :-) A typical day would really depend on what role you're filling. For example, an "application analyst" (usually someone who configures/customizes the off-the-shelf EHR software) may spend a large part of their day in front of a computer tweaking and optimizing the software (there is training for this) as well as collaborating with clinician subject matter experts (SMEs) to test and validate their work output. An EHR trainer/educator may be spending their day creating/updating training plans and tip sheets, as well as teaching clinicians how to use the system (in a classroom setting or in smaller groups/one-on-one). Project managers such as myself may spend a lot of time identifying areas of improvement, doing analysis of the root causes of issues, and coordinating the various aspects of a project aimed at improving documentation tools, workflows, or a combination of those. In many of these examples, there may be a LOT of meetings to attend and emails to write! :-D There are many more roles that nurses can fill in the NI field (and some nurses even create their own roles), but I hope I've given you enough examples to help you get started on your evaluation of where you want to take your career next. You may also want to volunteer for internal informatics-related projects such as electronic chart audits, or participate in your organization's nursing informatics council, if there's one, so you can get a better "feel" for the kind of discussions nurse informaticists participate in and the decisions they need to consider/make. Good luck!
  6. TheInformaticsNurse

    interprofessional scenarios

    In the informatics field, we may identify a situation where a new electronic orderset needs to be created for a subset of patients (for example, an insulin sliding scale orderset for diabetic patients, which may include medications, labs, communication, etc.). Clinician subject matter experts (SMEs) such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and laboratory staff work with their informatics counterparts as well as with IT, HIM, legal, and compliance resources to make sure that the right orders (including parameters, instructions, etc.) are included in the order set.