It was about this time of year in 2014 when I decided I was going to prepare for the Informatics Nurse board certification exam. I had wavered back and forth on it for a number of years.
Becoming board certified was something I wanted to accomplish but questioned whether I needed it.
However, there came a time when I decided I needed it before an opportunity in nursing informatics would require it in the future.
I had been in the field for ten years at that time (now 18 years) and something I had experienced time after time was in clarifying what informatics nurses do and how they drive an impact on quality care through nursing science, computer science, and information science.
If I held the board certification, that would be beneficial for potential clients, healthcare organizations and peers to have a metric to evaluate the knowledge, skills, and abilities I possessed as an informatics nurse before beginning any type of work.
Whether you are a nurse, physician, patient or family member, informatics impacts us all when it comes to caring for one's health.
Think about that sentence for a minute.
This means that whether you are an expert in the field or this is the first time introduced to the word informatics, there is a place for this science in your life and/or work.
Let me explain.
Consider you are a nurse and you are assigned a new patient. You may want to know the patient's name, date of birth (e.g., age), and a general reason for visit to start. All three of the areas mentioned represent different data elements.
Perhaps you are a patient and requesting an appointment or picking up a prescription. Either of these actions are a result of a healthcare need driven by your own health data.
For physicians, medical orders can only be placed based on the presentation and/or associated results from diagnostic exams, tests, and/or values.
Family members who may be...