Sometimes at work I feel like such a nerd. I have actually been called one due to the knowledge base that I possess at this time. At meetings, I will explain in detail some of the technologies, barriers, processes, etc. I watch nurse administrators eyes glaze over as I speak. It is very interesting to consider the scope of Informatics. By definition, informatics is the science of information. This in turn is defined by Webster’s as the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of recorded knowledge treated both as a pure and as an applied science; quite a mouthful.
Needless to say, the scope of informatics is very broad. The fields include nursing informatics, pharmacy informatics, medical informatics, lab informatics, radiology informatics, etc. It can range from the tools utilized to the Project Design and Management. It is an ever growing field with much diversity, challenge and opportunity for professionals.
Back to my nerdness; approximately one year ago, my CNO called me a nerd because I was able to download an application and run a DVD off of a laptop. Not that complicated but leads to the understanding that there are differing levels of competency in regards to informatics and technology.
This led me to volunteering for a Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) workgroup to develop informatics competencies for entry into the acute care hospital setting. This has been a very exciting and collaborative process and will support the institutions in providing entry level orientation to the technologies used on a day to day basis.
My current job description has informatics incorporated into it and I hope to become the Project Manager on the upcoming Pharmacy Pyxis MedStation project. However, reviewing the job postings at the different sites has inspired me to evaluate what I am currently doing and determine what I want to do with my informatics knowledge.
A few years ago, I came to the decision to change my focus from providing for the patients and their families to providing for the nurses. The assessment of my institution clearly has defined the need for a Clinical Informaticists to support the nursing staff in their move forward with EHR, eMAR, clinical documentation, Smart Pumps, Medication Stations, etc. The support would include implementation, initial education, ongoing education, and updates. It is all very exciting.
As I learn and grow within this field, I have determined that being a nerd is not so bad. Actually, I take it as a compliment; it means that I have been recognized as having a body of knowledge and I have been called upon frequently to use this knowledge base. I wonder if that could be a certification – NN, Nerd Nurse.