Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

An Interview With An Informatics Nurse

Ever wonder how all those hospital systems are created and maintained? (Computer charting, systems to report data to national and state organizations, to name a couple.) Sure, they could hire some IT guy to run them, but everything seems to flow better with a nurse’s touch. After all, we’re the ones using them all the time, right?  Jen C, RN, BSN almost MSN gives us a look into the world of nursing informatics.

Jen has been doing this job for two years. She says she “stumbled into it” when she was interviewing for a new job and mentioned that she was starting her master’s in informatics. Although she was hired to be a staff nurse, within four months she was working in informatics.

What do you do all day?

Each day is different. I do a lot of troubleshooting. I go to a lot of meetings. I do system development and upkeep. I listen to the nurses and what their issues are with the various systems. I do education. And I still fill in at the bedside (I’m still a NICU nurse at heart.)

What frustrates you about your job?

Little definition and recognition as to what my job is. I often seem to be a catch-all. I also don’t have a mentor. I’m the only one in my hospital that has formal education in this area and only one or two in the whole hospital. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at code blog - tales of a nurse*

Change Of Shift: The Best Of Nursing Shared (Vol. 5, No. 4)

Welcome to Change of Shift!

We have some old friends and some new additions. Our submissions cover the best of nursing and the most difficult moments. Some share successes, others could use some collegial support.

So grab a latte, put your feet up, and enjoy…

 

********************

Change of Shift: Volume 5, Number 4

I love adding nursing blogs to my blogroll! This week, thanks to his CoS submission, I’ve found Stephen at  A Nurse Practitioner’s View, where he presents Team Work. When it comes to patient care, check our egos at the door.

Some teams we chose and some we’re born into, as noted in this heart-warming story from Keith at Digital Doorway, We’re All in This Together.

Nurses are expected to be super-humanly objective and non-judgmental. As this honest post from Nurse Me shows, there are limits, and don’t forget to Always Look Behind the Curtain First. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Emergiblog*

These Nursing Shoes Are Made For Walking

Do you remember this person? She is a bedside nurse. She walks up and down hospital hallways in her white nursing shoes all day long while caring for her patients. She is trained for active duty. I’m asking you this question because nursing researchers have had an epiphany. They believe that they have discovered something new in the field of bedside nursing.

Over the years I’ve observed that the more degrees and letters that a lot of academic nurses get behind their name, the more out of touch they become with bedside nursing. This came to light once again when I attended a mandatory inservice at work. I was told that we were going to talk about an innovative concept that was going to revolutionize patient care and the nursing profession. Imagine my surprise when the speaker talked about hourly rounds. Did you know that nursing researchers have discovered that patients are happiest when their nurses spend time with them at the bedside every hour, and anticipate their needs? Wow, what a concept. Academic nurses living in the ivory tower of higher learning have discovered through years of painstaking research that patients also want nurses to answer their call light promptly when they need help getting to the bathroom. Holy cow! Hourly rounds decreases the amount of time patients spend using their call lights, decreases injuries due to patient falls, and increases patient satisfaction while they are in the hospital.

Did I miss something? I remember learning all this stuff years ago when I was attending a lowly diploma nursing program. We were always walking up and down the halls in our nursing shoes. No one conducted studies on how to make patients happy back then. A little common sense goes a long ways. The formula to good patient care starts with clean bed sheets and a filled water pitcher, and ends with a connection to your patient. That’s not new. That’s nursing.

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »