The nursing outlook on technology and business is on the fast track. Most nurse informaticists would state that their role did not exist 5-10 years ago, proof that the career path of nurses is widening as technology gallops forward. MEDITECH's Nurse Forum showcases how nursing continues to evolve; providing a platform for nurses to ask relevant questions, hear from industry leaders, take a step back and listen, and then share that wisdom with their community to understand what lies ahead.
Evolution of Nursing and Patients' Needs
My three takeaways covering patients and nurses in informatics are the importance of addressing burnout, a fresh perspective on a patient's needs, and global communities. A decade ago, the “secret” to dealing with personal needs or emotions was to “suck it up and go cry in the bathroom stall then fix yourself with a brave face, swallow whatever just happened to you”. This process of sucking it up made nurses leave the profession and/or created health issues from masking pain. However, the tables have turned and nurses are turning to self-care and gratitude to combat these feelings, sharing their stories without fear and embracing the idea of “refilling your cup” first without feeling ashamed.
Nurses in some rural and urban communities are sharing stories about human trafficking at a local level, including their own patients. This theme has become pervasive during unseen trauma, the opioid crisis, and the economic crisis as well. Nurses are looking for guidance on how to address this matter, from documenting assessments to policy and procedure to establishing best practices for such a vulnerable group. At the forum, Jeri Moomaw from the Innovations of Human Trafficking Collaborative shared her knowledge and education from the patient's perspective, sharing the voices from this seen yet unseen population. She shared ideas on how to readdress the issues and needs of these patients, specifically by nurses shifting their patient approach from “Why are you here today?” to “Are you happy with your life?”
Nursing informatics is global and nurses are learning from each other. For example, the challenge of sepsis is worldwide, as well as cancer and HIV, and it is a nurse informaticist's duty to learn analytics at a high level to catch the trends of the disease process by using predictive frameworks through surveillance tools to address patients' needs before they arise. The team at the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in the UK is using scoring tools with nurses to track acute illnesses. Presenters took time to explain nursing informatics from the UK nursing and technology perspective, cost of care, implementation of health tech as well as change management (paper to computers charting).
Global and Local Nursing Informatics
Nursing is about change, challenges, opportunities, and continuing to reinvent yourself and your career. Nurses continue to evolve in their practice and learn fresh ideas as they undertake responsibilities such as being mandated to understand data as a tenet to practice, evaluating care plans, and leading during technology implementations (even during surprise inspections). Nurses continue to educate their community at large, but first, we must self-care with “filling our cups” and with knowledge. Nurses are asking challenging and poignant questions from “Are you happy with your life?” to encouraging fellow nurses to share their stories and best practices from their part of the world.
At the MEDITECH Nurse Forum, nurses were encouraged to use social media with the hashtags #NurseForum19 and #MEDITECHNurses. Through such means, they networked and shared their takeaways and ideas. Nurses: let’s keep sharing our stories, refilling our cups, providing best practices, listening to patients and each other on a global scale.
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