"What do you do?"
A question I often get, and typically I respond with “I used to be a nurse, but now I work in Health IT.” That’s the simple version of my response, but here’s a little more detail.
The truth is, I AM a nurse, and I always will be.
The entirety of my bedside nursing career I cared for underserved patient populations. Patients in critical condition and at their most vulnerable. Consistently, my job required much more than conventional patient care. It required being a patient advocate: considering their best interest and acting on behalf of those interests when they could not. I considered it at the forefront of my duties and still do today.
Now, I still care for patients, but in a different form. I am an Informatics Nurse. Nursing Informatics is an integration of nursing and computer science. Its purpose is to improve the communication of healthcare information, data, and knowledge to ultimately better patient care.
Think of us as nurses behind the scenes or, rather, behind the “screen.”
Healthcare providers make critical decisions on a daily basis which depend directly on the information, data, and knowledge used to make them. As a Nursing Informaticist at Clinical Architecture, I work with a diverse group of people to improve the quality of that information. It is truly rewarding work, just as bedside nursing was, and each day I go to work with the patient in mind.
While your informatics nurse may not be right at your bedside, know that we are with you. We are advocating for you, considering your best interest, and acting on behalf of those interests each step of the way.