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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We have something coming your way soon.. digital stickers & Know My Nurse Life

We have something headed your way soon…. Know My Nurse Life!

“Stickers are a logical evolution of that, bringing visual communication of emotions and stories into the on-going conversations we all run through our “phones”.”

Read more about digital stickers from this article: Stickers are serious business.

Post originally appeared on Dr. Tiffany Kelley RN’s page on November 13th, 2017

Nightingale’s November Newsletter: Are you subscribed?

Are you subscribed to the Nightingale Apps‘ newsletter? Here is the one just released yesterday for November.

If interested in receiving it, let us know at @contact@nightingaleapps.com

PS…something really fun is coming your way early 2018!! We’re working on it now and will share more details when able .

To read our newsletter from November, click here. Enjoy!

We have the ability to make change.

Tonight I spoke to a group of graduate nursing students at Northeastern University about how to look at daily problems as opportunities to form impactful solutions.

Too often we just accept that ‘this is just the way that it is’ and keep battling the challenges that really don’t make sense when you have a moment to stop and think about them.

So what do you do? Well let’s think about the linen cart.

Tonight I asked the group how many had experienced a situation where there was never enough linen on the cart to change the bed or bathe the patient or get a new onesie or johnny for the patient. The vast majority raised their hands.

So why is it that we all experience this but yet it remains an issue? I think part of it is that we aren’t speaking up to ask why and help to solve the problem. I think we also haven’t necessarily been trained to recognize these issues as solvable problems. Instead, we view them as individual workarounds. Yet, it wastes valuable time that could be spent caring for the patient instead of running after linen on another unit. There is no reason why this needs to continue.

The same is true with many different workarounds that nurses, health care professionals, patients and families face each day in the health care delivery process. Tonight I encouraged the group to think about what bothers them or affects their ability to provide the best care and see how it could be solved.

If we don’t start to take on some of these issues within our profession, we will continue to workaround them. We have the ability to make change, we simply need to begin and/or continue to take action.

 

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Post originally appeared on LinkedIn on November 7th, 2017

Health Tech Venture Network Female Entrepreneurship Conference: Recap

A nice recap of the HealthTech Venture Network Female Entrepreneurship Conference on October 7th in Seaport Boston.

“To hear the other women’s stories and to hear how similar, not necessarily the specifics are, but just the accounts of the day-to-day… I felt like I was in the right place. And there are so many times you feel like you’re not in the right place. So that was really rewarding for me.” – Tiffany Kelley of Nightingale Apps

Female Entrepreneurs in Health Tech at their Finest: a HTVN17 Recap