Natalie Turner has had a successful career working with SA Health, and more recently, on the state-wide EMR project as an educator. Natalie also works with the HISA South Australian state branch committee. We had a chat with her to talk about her experience in nursing informatics and the upcoming International Nursing Informatics Congress (NI) 2020 event.
Where you already involved in digital improvement in your unit before transitioning to EHR?
I was working as an Infection Control Link Nurse with the Infection Prevention and Control Unit. This is probably what gave me a good background on using data and providing education.
Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CAHLN) have a fantastic link nurse program. The team support you and help you understand the importance of how to present data so that stakeholders can understand and make informed decisions.
It was amazing to be involved with the implementation of the Jump’n hand hygiene initiative and learn about using data, quality improvement, education, and change management.
Do you feel this has given you the bug for nursing informatics and education?
My experience as an infection control link nurse, supported by the team, gave me a head start. I really enjoy teaching and providing education, helping people understand concepts and implementing them into practice. Nursing informatics is the direction I wanted to take for my career – it was the right place at the right time kind of thing.
What do you like the most about your job?
I get to work with the clinicians, go with them through the functions of the system and help them understand how it applies to their day to day.
When I see that penny drop, when I see the EMR users understand the concepts and they can see how they can apply it to their role – it’s what I live for. To have this moment with them, being able to get them around the hurdles of the change, and support them to a place where they feel empowered and they can do their job with the new system. It’s highly rewarding.
What advice would you give to a nurse or midwife considering health informatics as a specialty?
Get on LinkedIn, make friends with everybody, attend events and conferences. We are very lucky that the HISA South Australian branch is kicking off now. In addition to the national and international conferences, HISA runs events in each state. You can come and meet amazing nursing informaticians other health professionals that are working locally.
It’s a great place to meet and talk to people who are working in various roles to get an idea of what direction you want your career to move in. Once you know where you want to go, make sure you have the knowledge to back you up.
What excites you the most about NI 2020?
We are seeing great growth in Nursing Informatics through the work HISA is doing with the state branches and NIA special interest group. They are doing amazing work with conferences such as NI 2020 and HIC 2020 next year. These events are going to be huge for Australia – getting the world’s smartest nursing brains together, making connections and discussing ideas that spark innovation.
The biggest challenge for me at the moment is change management. There is more and more research on user experience, psychology and human behaviour related to digital and health and it should influence how we teach and implement digital health systems.
When I talk about these issues with other professionals at events such as NI 2020, I am usually challenged with new facts and solutions that makes me think “I never even considered this before”. Getting to know new people and being exposed to new ideas is always going to be a foundation of personal growth and helps me keep up to date.
Nursing informatics involves a lot of change and you have to be on the ball to keep up with it! If you ever thought of getting involved in nursing informatics, now is the time. Don’t put it off!
The 15th international congress in nursing informatics, NI 2020, will be held in Brisbane 27-29 July and celebrates the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The NI 2020 theme Nursing and midwifery in the digital age shows nursing professionals as frontline users of digital solutions. To know more and register, visit ni2020.org.<!–FIND OUT MORE AND REGISTER–>
Nursing Informatics Australia (NIA) is the pre-eminent group of nursing informaticians in Australia. NIA membership is open to all registered nurses and registered midwives. This HISA SIG is a good reference point to learn about the developments in Nursing Informatics both nationally and internationally.
To join HISA and the NIA community of practice, click here.