Nursing workarounds and what they mean for the future of healthcare.
Last evening, I spoke to a group of approximately 60 graduate nursing students at Northeastern University in Boston MA. I spoke on the topic of nurse entrepreneurship and intrapraneurship. The faculty members, Dr. Laura Mylott and Dr. Janet Rico wanted to show their students the different opportunities there are for nurses in the health care arena. Nurse entrepreneurship or intrapreneurship are two career options that we often don’t discuss in our formalized nursing education classes. However, I will tell you that they are very real career options and in many ways will be the only way in which we solve some of the day-to-day problems nurses are faced with at the bedside. The reason why nurses are the only individuals set up to solve these problems is because no one else knows they exist. No one is going to come knocking on the door with a solution to solve problems they don’t know exist.
I asked the class, “What is a workaround?”. It could have been that no one wanted to speak up but I didn’t get a volunteer to answer the question. So, I turned it around. “Ok. What is a problem you deal with every day and how to you get around it?” I had one student volunteer to tell the group that he works nights. At night, STAT labs are entered at midnight however the system goes down for 30 minutes every night at this time. It affects the timing in which labels are printed and subsequently when they can be drawn, resulted, and acted upon. So, instead of waiting and wasting time, he figured out a way to manually force print the labels. This is the workaround.