When I’m at work, I sometimes think about having the perfect healthcare dashboard. I use EPIC at work, and for the most part it’s adequate. But the dashboard that I see each day when I open EPIC is not useful to me at all. I’m not able to easily customize it, and so I just click through to where I need to go. From a UX perspective, it’s a complete waste of space.
There’s also a “summary” page for each patient. A sort of patient dashboard. This is maybe 20% useful, but again, I can’t really customize it. Read more
On March 20, 2020 I created a blog category called, “Covid Diary.” I had just come back from a vacation, and while I was away, the world had changed. COVID-19 went from being a blip on my news feed to a full on worldwide panic. I had this idea in my head that as a nurse, I should be documenting this interesting time in history. As a hospice nurse, I believed I would be in the trenches of the pandemic. I expected to come in contact with many COVID patients. I was nervous, and afraid of catching this unknown virus; but also excited to be a nurse during a pandemic.
Turns out I was wrong. So totally wrong.
First of all, the COVID-19 patients of 2020 didn’t tend to get to go to inpatient hospice. They went straight from the ventilator to the “celestial discharge,” if you know what I mean. At any rate, our much bigger unit across town was getting ready to convert a whole floor to be the designated “COVID Hospice Unit,” so all COVID patients would be diverted there. Read more
On March 7th my family and I left to go to Costa Rica for vacation. On the days leading up to our departure I (selfishly) kept hoping the COVID-19 numbers wouldn’t spike and we would be able to get onto the plane. My husband got laid off in January and we had paid for the trip in December. There was no way we were going to miss it.
We made it to Costa Rica and we had a wonderful time. But I kept reading updates on the virus and by the middle of the week I was feeling a sense of dread, not knowing what we were coming home to. Half way through we got the update that my kids schools were closing for two weeks. Read more
2016 was the year I finally broke into hospice nursing. I had taken a 6 year hiatus from nursing, in order to stay at home with my kids. I honestly wasn’t even sure if I wanted to keep being a nurse. But other job prospects seemed non-existent. The twins were in kindergarten. I had just completed my nurse refresher course and was starting my job hunt. I was reluctantly ready to be a nurse again. This is a story of how I got my first entry level hospice nursing job. Read more
Earlier this week I wrote about technology tools for nurses, and how everything we use seems to be so outdated. One thing I wondered: Do nurses even care? So I posed the question on Reddit and got some terrific feedback. Read more
Bedside nurses have one of the toughest jobs. So why do we get stuck with some of the crappiest technology? I recently had the opportunity to orient to a job on a med-surge floor. Having not worked in a hospital for the past 7 years, I was a little surprised at the lack of basic technologies afforded to nurses at this hospital. Read more
There is no doubt that working in the ICU can be a source of moral distress. I’ve been spending the last few months doing hospice home care and I’ve been thinking about going back to the hospital for various reasons. The last time I worked as a nurse in the ICU was the summer of 2009. I took a three month contract in the MICU. Not my first choice of employment, but I needed the money, and the work was familiar to me. Read more
On the first day of my allscripts instruction, I was advised that when documenting in the EHR, I should always use all caps, in other words, to always type in capital letters. As someone who is trained in graphic design, this irked me! Capital letters should be used for a reason, not as a default. It also bothered me knowing that typing in all caps on the internet is an analog for shouting. Read more
These are some of my favorite nurse photos from The Commons section on Flickr. If you’ve never spent time perusing the commons on Flickr, I highly recommend it. It contains a vast amount of publicly archived photos from all over the world. Read more
The annual pelvic exam. No one likes it. It’s quite unpleasant. It may even prevent patients from seeking a yearly well-visit. So is it really necessary?
The American College of of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) seem to think so. They still recommend a yearly pelvic exam, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support its efficacy as a screening process. And they also acknowledge that the evidence neither supports nor denies its value. Read more