This is my first interview with a fellow nurse blogger, The Nerdy Nurse. Her blog is a mix of both personal and professional, from being a mom to working as a Informatics nurse.
I love reading what nurses are doing around the web with their blogs , their businesses or just chatting about what they do at work and at play. The Nerdy Nurse is definitely one of those blogs that will entertain as well as educate you. So if you want the inside scoop on what nurses do than reading their blogs is a great way to find out.
So I’ve asked The Nerdy Nurse a few questions about what she does online and offline. She gave great answers about her nursing job as a Clinical Informatics Specialist (nursing informatics) Read what she has to say and be sure to click on her links below to read more of her story and follow her on social media sites like twitter and linkedin or email her with any questions you may have about nursing informatics
What do you do as a nurse?
I am a Clinical Informatics Specialist (sounds fancy, doesn’t it?). Actually, on my very first day of my job someone asked if “Informatics” was a typo. It’s better known as a nurse informaticist, clinical applications specialist, clinical analyst, or any one of a plethera of other long and geeky sounding titles that we’ve been dubbed with. I mention this specifically because it certainly was hard to find a role as a “nurse informaticist” when it is almost never called that in the job listings.
What I do is a little hard to explain, but basically I am am a software administrator. What that means for nurses on the floor is that I am the resource nurse for all things EMR. If you cannot chart, I am the one you call if something is broken and you want it fixed or if you have a suggestion about how information is handled in patient care, I am the resource. I personally manage a 3rd party software and monitor trouble areas and improvements to be made in the software. I also often find design flaws myself and report to them ways to improve the software.
I troubleshoot, I find flaws, I suggest improvements, I dig into really deep details and touch many areas of healthcare that I never knew I’d be able to with a nursing degree.
There are many ways to work in nursing informatics, and our roles vary. However, I can say that personally I am an RN, BSN and practiced for 3 years in bedside care, with no formal IT education prior to my transition into healthcare IT . It did take a lot of passion and an excellent resume. I used my experience with wordpress, web development, social media, and interest in technology to convince my current employer that I was right for job.
How long have you been a nurse and what other areas of nursing have you worked in?
I have been a nurse for 3 1/2 years. I worked in beside care on a medical surgical floor in direct patient care prior to transitioning to informatics. I honestly knew from the very beginning that I wanted to work in informatics. I knew it was the best way for me to make the biggest impact, with my learned nursing skills and passion for innovating healthcare through technology.
How long have you been blogging and what is your blog about?
I’ve been blogging at The Nerdy Nurse for nearly 2 years. I originally started because I was experiencing lateral violence (nurse on nurse bullying) and wanted to shout from the rooftops how wrong it was. I wanted to stand up for what I knew was right and despite my best efforts could not defeat on my own. Blogging gave me confidence and helped realize I was not alone and in turned helped me to help others who were experiencing the same.
I am happy to report that the issue was eventually resolved and I now can confidently say that those nurse bullies sent me on 2 paid vacations because of the conventions I’ve attending via sponsorship / scholarships as a direct result of blogging.
The Nerdy Nurse is a mis-mash of various topics. There is quite a bit of nerdy nursing to be had (specifically healthcare IT, EMR/EHR, and related topics), there is also articles that are helpful to new grads and current students. You’ll also find geeky ramblings on technology, zombies, Steve Jobs, parenting, and the empowerment of women.
I would call myself a hobbyist when it comes to blogging, but only because my blog is not my primary bread and butter. I have made some money from it, the potential is there to make more, but the opportunities I have gained (career and otherwise) have made it an instrumental role in my current and future professional success.
Eventually I see blogging helping me to help other healthcare organizations to better embrace social media. While I adore my current roles as a clinical informatics specialist, I could see myself taking personal time to devote to consulting. I’ve also been inspired to possibly write a book, but ironically it would have nothing to do with nursing or technology. I’d like to write about my mother and the challenging relationship we had in my youth and all the things she taught me that I didn’t realize she had until after she passed away.
She’d love that.
Would you recommend blogging to other nurses?
Absolutely! The confidence and empowerment I have gained as a nurse because of my blog are immeasurable. Blogging has made me increasingly more aware of HIPAA in both my care and my daily life. I think this is actually valuable, especially in my role in informatics, where PHI is frequently accessed.
Blogging is a way of connecting with like-minded people, without the physical barriers that have challenged us in the past. Social media has made friendships possible with anyone anywhere and for the first time ever, it isn’t only the rich who have the world as their oyster.
By embracing social media, you can grow more confident in your voice. You advocate for your patients as a nurse everyday. Blogging is merely a different platform for you to be an advocate for your patients, your fellow nurses, and whatever else you are passionate about. You can be a change agent and impact healthcare on a larger scale. It’s a powerful and beneficial tool that will be where social and public health makes it’s next revolution.
Name your 3 favorite nursing blogs?
Oh goodness. Narrowing this down is HARD. I currently have 4 favorite nurse bloggers. In no particular order: Emergiblog, Nurse Ratched’s Place, Nursetopia, and Those Emergency Blues. I am consistently finding I love the content they are producing and digging into their old stuff to find more!
Update – Brittney just released her New Book, click the picture!
Brittney Wilson, RN, BSN works as a Clinical Informatics Specialist in Georgia (USA). She describes herself as a Patient, Nurse and Technology Advocate and has a passion for using technology to innovate and simplify lives, especially in health care. She blogs about nursing issues, health care, technology and parenting on The Nerdy Nurse. You can frequently find her on twitter @TheNerdyNurse, Facebook, LinkedIn and writing many technology pieces for My Reality Tech.