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  1. jeastridge

    Tips for Nurses on Zoom

    Overcoming the Challenges of Zoom COVID-19 has brought along with it many changes, including nurses’ expanding use of technology to stay connected and to help their patients. Office visits, presentations, group meetings, and other gatherings are now happening on Zoom. As the months go by, we can expect even more usage of technology to substitute for in-person meetings, and it is entirely possible that these will persist even after the threat of the virus is gone. As we face new frontiers in technology in medicine, let us help one another adjust and maximize our success by sharing ideas. Below are some approaches to making the best of leading or participating in Zoom calls. If you have others, feel free to add them on below. As we face cancellations, alterations and modifications related to COVID-19, one bright spot has been the ability to use Zoom technology. Many people, of all ages, have been able to download and figure out Zoom on their smartphones, tablets or computers. While Zoom is fabulous for helping us gather in a virtual room, the process of leading a meeting, or even just participating effectively, can present new challenges. Leading a Zoom Meeting STEP 1 Plan Ahead Schedule your Zoom meeting and send out the meeting ID and password in plenty of time. Plan to double check and send out an extra reminder just before the start time. STEP 2 Assign Someone to be Backup When you send out your notice, send out the phone number for someone who can be a back-up tech person especially if it is going to be a large meeting. This can relieve interruptions and make the meeting feel smoother for the other participants. STEP 3 Set Up Before the meeting, set up the space where you will do your meeting. It helps not to have too much background clutter or a long view of the whole room. During this COVID-19 crisis, I have been surprised by all the national newscasters who have invited the nation into their dining rooms or living rooms. It’s interesting, but can be distracting! Also, set your computer up on a book or other elevated surface so that the camera is directed right at your face instead of capturing a less flattering shot going up from your chin! Of course, turn off all the background noise, including the television in the other room. It is surprising how much of the background noise gets transmitted through Zoom. Also, consider asking your participants to mute themselves so that accidental sounds don’t distract everyone. STEP 4 Redundancy in Notifications When life is more normal, people know what to expect and don’t have to think so much about the details of gathering. When using a new app, most of us need an extra measure of grace and a little more time. We also need frequent reminders via several communication methods—facebook, text and email. The leaders’ proactive approach can help minimize stress. STEP 5 Consider Your Own Appearance Whether you are a man or a woman, it is time to spruce up a little! It is considerate to look professional even if you are participating from home. STEP 6 Greetings It helps if the host can be present a few minutes before the start time. It is nice to be on hand to greet everyone by name and have each person say something to get started. Having an opportunity to speak initially, even if it is just to say name and job title, can break the ice and help folks participate more as the meeting continues. If you are talking with a patient via Zoom, be aware they may be nervous and unsure. So setting them at ease will make your visit more productive. STEP 7 Start as Promptly as Possible People like to know what to expect. Starting on time respects their time and gives everyone a much-needed sense of structure during this time where many of us feel somewhat “off quilter.” STEP 8 Assign Participants Ahead of Time and Have an Agenda Assign participants ahead of time and have an agenda- If someone is giving a report or going to be asked to participate in some way, it may be helpful to consider giving them advance warning. Also, asking people to raise their hands if they wish to speak can help the moderator/leader notice them—especially in a meeting that is crowded. Additionally, an agenda is essential to a well-run meeting. STEP 9 Ask Questions Leaders may want to plan to ask questions during their presentation to allow those in the meeting to have an opportunity to speak. It is hard to pay attention via zoom—even harder than when meetings are in person—so leaders do well to keep monologues short and to the point. STEP 10 Close Well Everyone appreciates a leader who ends on time. Because of our altered circumstances, people can lose track of time and prolong meetings unnecessarily. It helps to have an agenda, stick to it and announce is there are variations, including going over time. TIP: Zoombombing Zoom has recently implemented additional security measures to ensure that “Zoombombing” --people entering your meeting uninvited-- doesn’t happen. It is important to use both the Meeting ID and the password each time. The company that supports Zoom has been very responsive and worked to address problems as they come up. They also send out frequent evaluations so that users can let them know if there are issues. Patients and groups will respond well if they feel welcomed and heard. As a leader, your preparation time and the energy you put into making things go smoothly matters just as much now —maybe more—than ever.
  2. At a recent family reunion, a relative who has type 1 diabetes showed me her discrete continuous glucose monitor attached to her underarm. “And it displays on my mom’s phone too, so if I have any problems, she is alerted!” The teen quickly and deftly checked her sugar, switched to her insulin pump and punched in the correct numbers to make the necessary adjustments. Her mom seconded the revelation with her enthusiastic approval, “It’s really revolutionary!” From continuous glucose monitors, to home sleep tests, to remote telemetry to artificial intelligence programs that can predict oncoming sepsis or help to interpret EKGs and radiographic tests, technology continues to make big strides into the healthcare arena. As professional nurses, are we ready? Do we know how we can maximize our influence, improve our knowledge and grow in adaptability so that we make sure the new tech is serving the patient well and not just a fancy, expensive and relatively useless device? What is AI? Artificial intelligence (AI) is defined as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.” Predictive modeling and big data analysis are the way of the future — not only will AI insert itself into patient care, it has the potential to effect major changes in the delivery of care. “If we don’t mediate this technology, someone will do it for us,” says Richard Booth, an assistant professor of nursing at the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing in London, Ontario. He goes on to say that we have to be looking ahead and helping to define which roles will be taken over by assistive devices and which nursing roles remain solely under the purview of human nurses. Booth says, “We have to plan our own obsolescence to some extent because some predictable nursing work and activities that aren’t extremely complex will be automated. AI and new technologies hold both pitfalls and promise. Potential pitfalls include: Computers compete- Computers and monitors often take nurses’ attention away from the patient. While they focus on the monitors, they may miss important visible and audible clues and make the mistake of putting machine over mindfulness. Alert fatigue - Machines often cry “wolf,” and falsely alert or have their parameters set incorrectly. So much so, that bedside caregivers often ignore the blaring alarms, confident in their ability to respond should a real emergency occur. We have all been past nursing stations where alarms are going off and because they know everything is ok, the annoying sounds are treated as background noise by necessity. Machines misread - EKG are “read” incorrectly by the AI in the machine, pulse oximeters go off when the patient is simply cold, false alarms keep us scurrying to respond and sometimes make it more likely that a real problem will go unnoticed. Promises include: Machines never get tired. Continuous monitoring of pulse and respiratory rate and pulse ox is incredibly valuable and helpful. Gone are the days of waiting for the q4h vitals in acute care settings. Machines remember. Whether keeping track of blood sugars or blood pressures of apnea or any number of other parameters, machines are just about perfect with the mundane tasks that humans often are imperfect with: those repetitious and boring but completely necessary levels and numbers that we need to track. Machines are perfect with some chores - Correctly identifying a patient with a scan, long a source of confusion and mistakes, is no longer so fraught with trouble. Machines never mess up on stuff like that! And they don’t mind recording and tallying up encounters, medications, location, etc. Machines monitor continuously - The nurse can be free to check on other patients because she can know that the machines will alert her if a critical problem develops.A nurse who has been in practice for 50 years, once told me that when she first started working “on the wards” at night, she sometimes had to bring the patient’s bed out into the hall to be nearer to her so that she could watch for changes in color or respiratory status. Her eyes and ears and touch were the only assessment tools that she had! Thank goodness, we have moved on from there. Nurses are essential parts of the healthcare team. All the changes in technology and the predictive help of AI will not alter that. But we owe it to ourselves and to our patients to be vocal parts of the change process, keeping up with innovations and monitoring our own responses and our patients’ responses. After all, no technology ever cared.
  3. Maureen Bonatch MSN

    How Technology Use Can Impact Our Health

    Technology has become immersed in most areas of our life, and that of our patients. This can make some tasks easier, but it can also have negative implications when you can’t, or don’t want to, step away from the screen. Although there are many positive benefits to the use of technology, ongoing use, and spending an extended time staring at a computer or phone screen, can have negative effects. Often it may be difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate the extent of use of technology since many daily tasks, and more positions, require the use of technology. Increasing awareness of how ongoing use of technology can impact our lives, and our patients, can assist in reducing exacerbation of some ailments, or offer a chance to suggest modifications, or provide preventative education. Physical Effects Vision Extended time spent staring at a computer or phone screen can result in eye strain, blurred vision, or dry eyes. Some methods to alleviate discomfort include: Keep eye drops on hand, rest your eyes for brief intervals—and don’t forget to blink Ensure that lighting is adequate and intermittently change the distance you’re focusing on Increase the text size on your screen Pain and Strain If you’re working on a laptop, be sure to put it at the correct height. Avoid looking down at the screen and putting additional strain on your neck or shoulders or this may contribute to discomfort, or tension headaches. Other things to consider include: Try not to hold your cell phone in an awkward angle between head and neck Evaluate your workspace and desk for proper ergonomics Be mindful of the risk of repetitive strain injury from typing, clicking the mouse, or staring at the computer screen Inactivity The risks associated with too much sitting has prompted more people to invest in standing desks. Most nurses encourage patients to exercise more to decrease risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart problems, so this can support patient education. A few ways to reduce the time sitting, and increase exercise, include: Set a timer, fitness app, or watch, as a reminder to take a break, or to stand and walk around Park farther away from your destination, or take the stairs when you can Stand when you have the opportunity, or walk around your office while taking a phone call Hearing Headphones and ear buds provide a convenient way to listen to music or audiobooks, catch up on podcasts, or have a private conversation. Ongoing exposure to loud volumes can result in hearing loss or tinnitus, so a few ways to protect your hearing include: Turn down the volume Limit the length of time of use Put it on speakerphone Social Effects Some people’s fear of missing out has left them unable to unplug, or tune out the need to constantly check their screen for updates. It may also lead to feelings of inferiority, or social isolation from relying on cyber friendships. Technology has made it possible to stay connected with distant family, provide telehealth for patients in rural areas, and offer convenient access to information. It’s also made us become more impatient, desire immediate gratification, and become more easily distracted. Too much multitasking has left many unable to focus, or it may reduce our productivity instead of improving upon it. A few ways to practice, and educate, on creating better technology habits include: Reduce overall screen time by prioritizing notifications, or set designated times to check emails, and social media Set automatic messages to discourage distracted driving, or interrupting sleep Turn off reminders for incoming messages to increase the ability to focus Set parental controls on phones, and check them periodically, for cyber bullying, inappropriate content, or other risks Remember that the social media presence others create isn’t always accurate to reduce feelings of jealousy or inadequacy, or create a gratitude journal to outline positive aspects in life Creating a Balance Technology has many positive benefits. It’s provided us with methods to provide less invasive healthcare, expand treatment options, and increase opportunities for long-term health. It’s also offered convenience in our personal and professional life for scheduling appointments, gaining information, and reducing tedious tasks. Most of us aren’t going to eliminate the use of technology. The key is to develop a balance of technology use with our life, and increase awareness of the potential negative effects for ourselves, and our patients, and then work to reduce them. How Do You Balance Your Technology Use?
  4. gr8tefate

    From ICU to Art, back to Health Care

    Nursing is a great insight into life, as I learned after graduating with a BA in Sociology. I returned to school, and received my associates degree in nursing. From there I went into ICU where I practiced for years, enjoying the interaction of people, equipment, and daily learnings. However, one night I thought, there’s got to be more. On that evening, I was carrying urine and bile, and wanted to see the world. Within days, I had another job, in medical equipment sales: yes, it is true. Although I had no sales training, I had cardiology training. I was taught how to ‘sell’. I got paid to travel, present, train others, and teach physicians new technology. This tributary took me into photography because I was always visually strong. My camera and I traveled throughout the USA for many years, as I had planned on painting. Something else emerged…. I discovered computer graphics and fell in love. Yes, this is true too…I fell in love with the combination of photography and painting, taught myself, and ended up teaching techniques. In the process of learning something I loved, the realization that love allows for cognitive resonance, and is therapeutic. In the classroom I witnessed many people becoming so focused on the art that they forgot their anxieties, and came to life. That was truly an eye-opener. New ART therapy has many avenues towards allowing one’s inner world to flourish. Nurses are in an interesting position. We are aware of a plethora of spheres in this reality. We’ve seen death, and joys of life. We understand complexities of the journey, yet we see simplicities of the moment; a smile, a held hand. Nurses who tap into art see that art is related to health, it is both complex and simple. Today nurses are often stressed from overwork. May I suggest to explore the Arts? Take a camera, see what has been changing in our mutual worlds. We are in an interesting crossroad in a changing society. People are being pitted against one another; Youtube has created instant experts, and confusion or misinformation/fake news is prevalent. I am still doing art, but now it too is in change, due to my awareness growing. We are more technological than ever, and moving towards increasing technology. Between smart meters, and the ‘internet of things’ our exposure to magnetic frequencies, and other frequencies…is a new horizon which this nurse believes will manifest into new illnesses. I am using technology to create visuals which will hopefully raise awareness about the new world we are living in which is rapidly changing. I am concerned about the media confusion, plus the technological subtle potential harm to our natural world, thus returning to health care. I am posing the questions: What do the unseen frequencies do to us? What will the new diseases be called? Where will people go to ‘escape’ the bombardment? The chemicals, the nano technologies, the emitted cell frequencies…what are they creating to our natural order? Have nurses created forums about this? My latest art piece, called: ‘Eye in the sky’ shows a tranquil sea…with a small marina. Most of the image is the sky, with a subtle set of waves moving, and an eye. I am moving towards using visuals to stimulate thought. How are we to thrive in the rapidly changing technological future upon us today? With that question posed, I’m returning to health care….my nursing awareness and research more alive than ever. These are incredible times of rapid information spread through social media by people who often repeat what their friends say. It is truly a time for nurses to utilize the credibility they have worked hard towards to stand up and educate misinformed. My journey, from ICU to sales, to teaching, art and research has led me to the present journey of combining all I’ve seen towards visual statements recording my interpretation. What else are doing in the journey of time, but helping others see, sharing perspectives, and being open to learning in a sea of unprecedented climate and technological change?
  5. On April 12. 2019, President Trump and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman announced a plan to hold a third Fifth Generation Wireless Technology (5G) spectrum auction in the latest effort to make more mobile spectrum available in the United States. A plan to spend $20 billion was also announced to expand broadband access to rural areas currently without it. This evolution of mobile technology will provide a much faster connection, be more responsive and allow more data to be transferred. We could experience downloads as much as 10 to 20 times faster than current 4G technology. What does this mean to healthcare? The advent of 5G bring exciting possibilities in the ability to provide more personalized care with improved access to services. Making Homecare A Viable Option An increasing number of people would prefer being treated at home instead of dealing with long wait times and the high cost of hospitals. In addition, Medicare patients over the age of 65 experience a 14.9% rehospitalization rate in the United States. Home health services will experience a growth with 5G technology and move forward with making homecare a viable option for healthcare. 5G will offer the following improvements in home care services: Wearable medical devices 5G technology will improve nurse and physician ability to monitor patients in real time. This will allow emergencies or abnormalities to be reported without delay. Research has shown patients are more engaged with their own health when using medical wearables for remote monitoring. Wearables have also been predicted to decrease hospital costs by 16% over the next 5 years. Imagine the impact of more efficient and effect data-generating tools. The ability to identify the first sign of illness will allow early interventions, including consults, to be implemented- reducing complications. Remote monitoring has been limited by slow network speeds and unreliable connections and 5G will increase consistency and confidence in the ability to monitor real-time patient data. Expanding telemedicine A study by Market Research Future found the telemedicine market is expected to grow at a rate of 16.5% from 2017 to 2023. The study determined the demand increase is attributed to the need for telemedicine in rural areas and a rise in government initiatives to improved access to care in rural communities. 5G technology will support mobile telemedicine appointments, including access to specialist and better healthcare collaboration. Quick Transmission of Large Imaging Data Imaging machines (i.e. MRIs, PET scanners) typically use very large files that are sent to a specialist for review and interpretation. If the network is low on bandwidth, the transmission of these files can be delayed or even not sent. For patients being treated outside of an acute care or surgical setting (outpatient clinics), slow data transmission can further delay diagnosis and treatment. Previous imaging studies are often needed for comparison to ensure implementation of appropriate treatment plan. 5G downloads could be 10 to 20 times faster than current technology and providers would reduce wait times to see more patients in the same amount of time. Bridging Language Barriers It is often a challenge for a person whose first language is not English to communicate vital health information. Informing healthcare providers of allergies and health history is essential for determining appropriate care. Additionally, these patients may not fully understand diagnosis, medication regime or instructions for follow-up care. Translation services for less common languages are typically centralized and not available on-site. Video services are available for translation, but network capabilities limit this technology, especially in rural areas. 5G will improve the network speed to make video translation services more reliable and accessible. Making Remote Medicine Possible Emergency medicine is typically based on a “patient-to-hospital” practice. Emergency care outcomes in critical situations, such as cardiac arrest, stroke, trauma) are dependent on prompt access to care. 5G would introduce a new set of tools to first responders for faster emergency care. For example: Alerting emergency departments of EMS estimated arrival time with great accuracy Sending in advance ECG, patient data and imaging that would allow the ED to be prepared with proper equipment and staff with patient arrival Potential for live link to ER doctors or specialists through 4K body cameras to help assess, treat and prepare patient for transfer Access in rural areas to augmented reality tools allowing EMTs or general practitioners to follow guided steps in performing critical care. This article highlights only a few improvements 5G will bring to the access and delivery of healthcare. With reliable and high-bandwidth networks, healthcare providers can improve quality of care and the patient experience. Additionally, rural communities will benefit with easier access to specialist and timely diagnosis. What other benefits, such as better protected health information, are you looking forward to experiencing with 5G technology? Resources: Federal Communications Commission. (2018, September 28). The FCCs 5G fast plan. [Press release]. Healthcare IT News. (2018). The journey to 5G. Verizon.
  6. As technology touches everyone in their daily life, it's particularly been helpful in our nursing careers. It's difficult to recall our Doctors & other staffs without cell phones, pagers & beepers but once there was a time without the buzz of these bodily attachements. As certainly as those whom came before us thought the telephone was one of the greatest inventions, today cell phones are taking over land lines & medical staffs are afforded more freedom in movement & more easily accessible @ a moment's notice & while mobile. The impact of a faster response time allowed by these communication devices to critical care nursing decisions is that it saves time & lives. When time matters most & a life hangs in the balance, smart communication via technology can make all the difference. As facilities incorporate more & more computers into their network, computers @ working stations are more accessible to staffs for use. Computers have saved time & tons of paper as no longer do policy & procedure books need be printed as most facilities place them on their computers for staffs to readily review. Scheduled events, memos, safety issues, specific facility publications, e mail boxes have become everyday communications for facility staffs to better enhance the critical care nursing experience. Via computers, staffs have world wide access to information & pharmacological information is easily obtained, readily available just by several mouse clicks on the computers. Computers make it possible to have the most updated pharmacological guidelines & drug reviews, black box warnings as opposed to printed & dated material. As more & more new drugs are introduced each year & combination drugs, it's nearly impossible to know all drugs, all things of drugs & computers have become as life savers to aid in our critical care nursing & medical professions. Technology included replacing the glass thermometers via digital thermometers resulting in quicker & more accurate, sanitary & safer practice. Technology introduced the stick & peel skin thermometers now used in all general anesthetic cases per policy & procedures & can detect rapid rise in patient temperatures as related to Malignant Hyperpyrexia Syndrome, a very critical care nursing situation. More recently the Bispectoral Index Monitors or BIS was developed through technological advances for monitoring consciousness levels as an aid to delivery of anesthesia. CAT Scans, MRI's, multiple other scans were made possible via technology that detect & save lives & without them, critical care nursing would not be where it is today as these opened up new jobs & position opportunities to fulfill the need. These technological advances brought about dramatic changes in treatments, care & understanding disease process & progression. Anyone having taken ACLS through multiple years has viewed major changes to protocols of treatments as results of incresed knowledge gained through scans, research & data collections. Certainly critical care nursing became more aware of the urgency of treatment to stroke & cardiac episodes as we were introduced to patient survival rates as relating to the golden minutes ticking as a window of opportunity for increased survival as survival becomes less & less with time. As example, our critical care nursing went from rotating tourniquets in an earlier era to administering clot-bursting drugs as soon as possible in stroke occurence. Critical care nursing viewed the advent of various stents come into being replacing many open heart procedures as well as other open vascular procedures. Chemoo thereapy with new agents & delivery systems via technology is able to save many more lives than ever before since the dawn of mankind & cancers, changing critical care nursing. New, better designed insulins become available, new testing monitors as well as wearable insulin pumps for a more continuous delivery of insulin has changed countless numbers of diabetics lives & well being through technology. Technology introduced cautery for instantly controlling blood loss during surgical procedures as opposed to a time consuming tying of sutures around each blood vessel. Technology advances in the surgical arena yielded much more, less invasive sophisticated surgical instrumentation resulting in more & more procedures being done with laparoscopy & robotics, resulting in small puncture sites as opposed to major surgical incisions. Many surgical procedures once required a lengthy stay in a hospital setting now can easily be accomplished via an out patient surgical facility freeing up hospital beds for more acute critical care nursing patients. Anesthesia techniques has undergone a complete metamorhous from Cival War times of sucking whiskey down yielding a more pain free state to more & more technological state of the art anesthesia delivery systems. Ttoday anesthetics are more pleasing, safer with exact delivery monitored via critical monitors & no longer is an anesthesia machine just a simple breathing circuit delivery system of years ago. Walk into any operating room suite & you'll most likely see an anesthesia machine fully loaded with monitors & gadgets having a price tag far exceeding most cars on our highway. Critical care nursing was introduced to the world of disposables equipment & supplies, saving time, effort, offering sterility by just opening uppackaging proving most valuable when seconds count in the most critical nursing care situations. Disposable were readily accepted by critical care nursing & the medical profession as being time savers, safer with dated packaging, readily accessible & more satifactory pleasing to patients. Palm computers & smart phones now replace multiple paper small notebooks carried in the pockets of critical care nursing personal as being less cumbersome, easier to use with daily updating possible. Multiple pharmacological programs are available for synchronizing to these devices for a fee from such programs as Epocrates featuring new drugs, medical tables including ACLS, PALLS, Basic CPR, etc., mobile CME, medical mathmatics, DocMemos, corticosteroid converters, drip rates, temperature conversions, CardioMath, bone health, INR calculators, depression asscessment, HTN reference, staging reference - as valuable knowledge within a single easily used pocket device. Without a doubt technology has changed our daily lives just within the last 40 years & has impacted our careers in critical care nursing. Our critical care nursing has benefited in faster communications, faster service, improved standards of care, advanced care devices, improved safety, offered quality improvments, saved many more lifes & helped many more patients than once even imaginable. In summary, whatever technology brings, you can be certain of changes to our critical care nursing & our practice. Probably no other single factor has opened up new doors, new horizions & brought forth new careers than technology in critical care nursing. Although paper forms will always have a place in our critical care nursing, technology has made a dramatic cut back & will continue to do so as we move forward in this computer & wireless oriented world. Our world may never become disease free but as critical care nursing, we will always do our best to incorporate knowledge, new skills gained through research & data made possible through technology for better patient care. Indeed critical care nursing & technology go hand in hand & the benefits surround us to embrace as educational to stay abreast of new changes coming down the pipes to our critical care nursing careers. Saga
  7. To boldly go where I had never gone before! So was my entry in to "nursing informatics". Let me tell you about the journey! I have been a nurse for 26 years. Although for many of you that seems like a life time, believe me it is not. It is significant though in relation to my work choices. My early career started like that of many of us. I started on a med/surg unit as a scared and anxious new grad. Six months later, now being a seasoned and confident nurse, I was ready to spread my wings. I had enjoyed my psychiatric nursing clinicals in school and a position became available on the psychiatric unit. I was so excited when 6 months later, I was chosen for the job. I would now be able to impact the lives of my patients in such positive ways. Boy did I have a lot to learn. Although I did make a positive impact on my patients it was nothing compared to the impact they made on me! I learned patience in the face of chaos. I learned to listen even when I didn't like what I was hearing. I learned that there really was more than one way to accomplish a task or look at a situation and that sometimes the most unconventional methods were the ones that worked best. Now I know you are probably asking what that has to do with nursing informatics. I stayed in psych nursing for 20 years before I again felt a need to spread my wings. I decided that I needed to experience other areas of nursing and tried a few. I worked for a family physician and then I worked on a pain clinic. One thing that I noticed was even in these areas much of my work was still psychiatric nursing. I really wanted to do something different. In each area that I worked I was the one that staff came to when they were having charting or computer problems. I had no formal training but computers came easy to me, at least from an "end user" perspective. (Trust me, I didn't even know what an "end user" was at that point.) The joke was always I should be a computer nurse. Well, guess what? In my search for something different I found a position as a "Project Coordinator" and was now a "nursing informaticist." I could barely say the word let alone know what it meant. However, those lessons I had learned from my psych patients about chaos, listening and unconventional methods of completing tasks were all about to become part of my daily tool kit. I love nursing informatics and have learned that chaos allows us to look for oppurtunities for change, listening is the most important tool I can use in trying to assist the physicians, nurses and support staff in finding the best ways to care for patients and unconventional methods really do sometimes work the best. Nursing is a wonderful career that allows many diverse oppurtunities. Never be afraid to test the waters and always use your talents to improve the care of our patients, after all, they are the reason we are here.
  8. Brian

    Great Apps for Great Nurses

    Whether you are tech savvy or not, there is no denying that there are many great nursing apps you can download with just the tap of a screen. In fact, nursing apps are revolutionizing the nursing profession as we know it, and below we have listed a few of our favorites: For Drug Information - Micromedex Drug information This app is a free resource for nurses to search for specific drug information. Micromedex is perfect for a nurse that is on the go and doesn't have the time to search through a drug book. This app includes the following features: generic names including selected combination products, common trade names, therapeutic classes, black box warnings, dosages, dose adjustments, indications, administration, monitoring, how supplied, contraindications, precautions, adverse effects, drug interactions, pregnancy categories, breastfeeding, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, and toxicology. For Clinicals - Epocrates Have all the information you need during clinicals at the palm of your hand using the Epocrates app! You can use this app to do the following: find providers for consults and referrals, review drug prescribing and safety information, check potentially harmful drug-drug interactions up to 30 drugs at a time, select national and regional healthcare insurance formularies for drug coverage information, identify pills by imprint code and physical characteristics, perform dozens of calculations (such as BMI and GFR), and access timely medical news. Everything Nursing - Nursing Central This app is perfect for both nurses and students! This app stores information on diseases, tests, drugs, and procedures. This app will have the answer to any technical nursing question you may have! This app is made up of five popular nursing apps such as Davis's Drug Guide, Taber's Medical Dictionary, Davis's Laboratory and Diagnostic Test, Diseases And Disorders, and Medline Journals. Nursing Central is updated frequently to keep you up to date on all the latest nursing information. For Organization - Evernote Evernote allows you to take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, and record voice reminders while keeping all of your notes searchable! This app is ideal for nursing students that need help keeping track of tests and assignments as well as busy nurses that want a guide to help them track all of their daily tasks. For Networking - allnurses.com Now you can join the conversation even faster with the new allnurses.com app! The app has the same bells and whistles as the website, but it's mobile friendly! allnurses.com is the largest online nursing social networking community with 870K nurses, educations, and students. Get advice and share stories with real nurses! We shared our favorites, now what are yours? Share with us your favorite nursing apps!

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