May you find the opportunity in every challenge.

The internet erupted on Saturday about something that Senator Walsh in Washington State said in a hearing about nurses. Her tone and underlying assumptions about our ability to play cards while at work were very disrespectful to the 4 million of us in the United States.

This is the second time in a few years where someone in the public eye made an uninformed statement about the most trusted profession in the United States for 17 years in a row.

I’ve learned over the years, through my own entrepreneurial endeavors, that assuming statements are often due to a lack of knowledge.

If we had to put a care plan together and form a nursing diagnosis for this situation, we’d likely use something similar to: “Knowledge deficit related to the reality of being a nurse.

 

Let me share some of my realities about being a nurse:

  • I never played cards while caring for patients. (I’ve never played cards in any of my nursing roles over the last 19 years).

Some things that I always did while caring for patients include:

  • I always felt as though despite all that I had done for my patients, there was more I could have done to care for them as I left each day over and above what was necessary. (Try carrying that around at the end of every shift and having it add up over time).
  • I always dreaded night shift because that first hour was the most anxiety provoking for me. Parents wanted to put their children to bed to get their rest (understandably so). I would be getting out of report around 7:30pm not even having prepared any of the 8 o’clock meds for my 4-5 patients all due at the same time.

 As nurses, we know we have to prioritize those patients that are in need first but try telling one parent that his or her child needs to wait while you care for another. That is REALLY hard to do. I often wouldn’t finish that first 8 o’clock med round until 11 o’clock at night.

(OF NOTE: Why do we expect nurses to deliver all of their patients’ meds in the same hour right after starting their shift and not having assessed any of them yet? Can someone find a new innovative solution to this system level problem?)

  • I always worried about whether or not one of my assigned patients would code on me during my shift. I often had palpitations before work each morning because of this concern.
  • I always wanted my patients to have a new clean bed or crib and bathed (if an infant) or have an opportunity to shower if possible. This wasn’t required but it was something I felt was important to do.
  • I always prioritized my patients and their families over my own personal needs for nourishment over 12 hours. Sometimes I wouldn’t eat anything until 8 or 9 hours into my 12-hour shift.

 

I say this about myself, but I know that I am not alone. Perhaps I had palpitations more than other nurses, but the other statements are likely transferable to most if not all other nurses.

Today, I spent a lot of time on my computer catching up on some things.  While working at my desk, I would occasionally open Twitter in seek of a distraction.  I could not open Twitter without a flurry of reactions to Senator Walsh’s remarks today.

Throughout the day, I continued to think of the Woodhull Report. In the most recent report, the results demonstrated that nurses are only cited in 2% of journalists’ stories.

If we are only in 2% of stories, how can we assume that the public knows the extent of our work? Well, one thing we can safely say going forward is that everyone will know we don’t play cards. :) 

Yet, this just scratches the surface. How do we use this unfortunate incident that set Twitter ablaze today as an indication that we can do more as a profession to educate others on what we do?

How do we proactively educate a nation on why we are the most trusted profession year after year at a level that abominates the possibility of such comments from happening in the future?

Honestly, it starts with us, the nursing professionals. If we each share our knowledgeable voices on a proactive and consistent basis in a consumable way, we can begin to make the positive change necessary to dispel misconceptions and assumptions.

Think about how you might be able to share something you know with others that might not know it.

We’re trained for this! We educate our patients every day about things they do not know but need to know for their own health and wellbeing.

How can you educate others through your spoken or written words in a way that can influence their perspective? How can you present the information in a way that opens the door for the reader or listener to want to know more and ask more questions?

If I can educate someone not in healthcare about the role of nurses in informatics, interoperability, and innovation, you can find your niche and do the same.

 

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Who else enjoys a good book?

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Who else is a reader?
I try to read 6-12 new non-fiction books per year.
These 3 came today:
books
Have you read any of them yet? Do you have a recommendation for me to add to my list this year? 
Let me know,
Kind regards,
Tiffany

Being a Founder and a Female

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I am a founder who happens to be a female.

Twice this week I had a conversation about the question I’ve been asked often on panels.

The question is some variation of “How do you manage being a female in business?”

I don’t like this question.

I wish it wasn’t a question that was asked of women.

I don’t think men are asked, “How do you manage being a man in business?”

The reason I don’t like the question is because I don’t think about my gender when I am doing the work I need to do.

I am only concerned with having the knowledge, understanding and skills to be able to do what I’ve set out to do. I also happen to be a woman.

I lead with that every day.

While I don’t like the question, I will continue to answer it that way until it no longer needs to be asked.

“I’ll be back in a few minutes..”

This is the truth… (I chuckled when I read it).

This reminded me of when I’d come back from the cafeteria around 3:30pm (having started at 7am) with something I grabbed to bring back and eat for lunch on the unit. The unit secretary would see me and tell me something like:

“Your patient in room 10 needs pain medicine, room 5 is due in radiology, room 8’s parent is on line 2 and you have new orders for room 1.” I would just look at her and think, ‘how are you keeping a straight face as you are telling me this news? (and I can’t do all 4 of those things at the same time😉)’.

Nurses are a Blessing

Post originally appeared on Dr. Tiffany Kelley RN on November 28th, 2017

Nightingale’s Innovative Nurse: (November): Amelia Roberts, RN

 

Meet Amelia Roberts, RN

Amelia Roberts

What do you love about being a nurse?

What I love about being a nurse is the perspective I get! From where I stand, I see life with all that it offers, both problems and solutions. In my nursing role, we deliver patient care in a variety of forms. This viewpoint shows me both challenges and opportunities that patients face in navigating the healthcare system. In my role as caregiver, I have a clear view of solutions that support how care is delivered. Nursing gives such a unique perspective of what works on the user interface side. This viewpoint also shows clearly, what does not work in terms of user experience. Being an end user of a variety of healthcare technologies, I see many well-meaning companies who hope to facilitate communication among providers and disconnected healthcare systems. As a nurse, I feel it is a duty to contribute to solving these and other challenges that impact patient care.

How does contributing to solve these challenges look?

A few years ago there was a Hackathon at a local healthcare facility. I submitted an idea on an app that would facilitate discharge planning. As a finalist, I had the opportunity to see my app go from idea on paper to an experience that I could actually engage with on an iPad! Not much happened from there. Due to various system-level challenges, the app could not be put into practice. Since then I’ve been actively engaged in conversations with a variety of tech companies who offer similar discharge planning solutions. In my role as a provider of solutions, I find joy and connecting such founders with Healthcare Champions and health care decision-makers. My aim in facilitating these conversations is to break down some of the silos that prevent cross-pollination of ideas.

What do you love most about being a nurse?

Thinking of the unique perspective of the registered nurse, I would love for more technology companies to seek out having nurses as part of their team, if not only as a focus group. It would make sense to have these nurse stakeholders part of the conversation during the front end development of Technology as well. Many times nurses are included on the back end in terms of creating workflows for implementation. Many challenges are discovered during implementation that could have been avoided if nurse input was sought earlier in the process.

Related to solving this challenge,  I’ve enjoyed participating in a variety of electronic medical record user-testing opportunities. What I love about nursing is the opportunity that it gives me in connecting the problems I see with solutions that are out there ready to be used. If you would like to continue the conversation, please shoot me an emailamelia@solutionsbyamelia.com.

 

Business Website www.solutionsbyamelia.com

Personal Blog: The Story Behind My Business

Twitter and Instagram @RN_Solutions

Nightingale’s November Newsletter

Did you catch our November Newsletter?

Here’s an excerpt:

While I get to share my story, I also get to offer a perspective that perhaps is new. Yet, I hope that perspective lights that initial spark that can be taken back to the workplace and think differently about how to solve some of the challenges faced in our health care environment. 

You can read the full newsletter here: Nightingale’s November Newsletter . To be added to our mailing list, email us at contact@nightingaleapps.com or sign up on the website!