A Nursing Vignette, presented as a part of National Nurses Week.
by Debbie Medeiros, RN, MSN, CPHIMS, Manager, Inpatient EMR Systems, Hawai‘i Pacific Health
I became an RN later in life; previously I was an administrative assistant in commercial property management. I used a desktop computer (which required the use of a function key legend to operate), and a fax machine. I enjoyed technology and learning new things but the actual work was not engaging. One day while driving, something popped into my mind…become a nurse. After speaking to my friend who was an RN I took an overview of nursing course at a local community college and was hooked. This is what I wanted to do with my life…make a difference in someone else’s. This would be a good ending to the story, but it’s not.
During nursing school, I thought “One day I want to use my previous work experience with my nursing experience.” A few years later I was in school pursing an MSN degree while working as a staff nurse at a children’s hospital in the NICU. I chose to do a project for my degree and had to create educational material. Using a software program, I created an educational lesson about neonatal reflux for parents of NICU babies. While reviewing my project, my 1st reader said, “Do you know how unusual you are?” I said “I hope that’s a good thing”. She explained that it was a wonderful thing as most nurses were technology phobic.
After finishing my degree, I worked in a Nursing Education Department and led the implementation of a Computer Based Training and Tracking System and thought it was fun! Next, I wanted to implement an Electronic Medical Record, so I did just that in a rural community hospital. It’s been 19 years of nursing informatics and system implementation. I’ve make a difference in many people’s lives. Nursing offers many different opportunities, and I am grateful.