Nurses Provide The Rosetta-Stone for Healthcare
When I began my career as a nurse, I know I would do a lot of things for my patients from starting IV’s, medication administration, making beds and oh, emptying bedpans. But early on in my career, I realized the most important skill I had to master was being able to translate medical jargon into terms a patient could use. I spent countless hours talking with patients and their loved ones about what’s going on with the patient and what the doctor just said. One memory that stands out is the first time I had one of my patient’s codes. I remember standing with my arm around the shoulder of the wife explaining what everyone in the room was doing to save the life of her husband. Unfortunately, the patient did not make it and I stayed with the wife for a long time answering her questions and just listening. It was one of the most difficult and rewarding moments of my life.
As an informaticist, I am still serving as a translator. Before I was serving as a translator for patients. But now, I am an interpreter, translating the user’s needs and the workflow nuances – for both the clinician/client and for our team of UX designers and developers. By providing this bridge between the complex worlds of healthcare and technology, we are able to deliver applications in fewer design cycles, better meet the needs of the users, and bring the application to market faster. While the satisfaction of building healthcare applications is not on the same level as caring for a grieving family, I feel I am making a difference by providing caregivers the tools they need to deliver the best care.
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