NEW YORK NURSE: May 2010
by Erin Silk
NYSNA’s 13th Annual Seminar at Sea was held March 13 to 20 aboard the Crown Princess. Twenty-seven NYSNA members, including 12 first-time attendees, learned new ways to understand, adapt, and use technology to optimize their lives and practice. After completing workshops and independent studies, participants were free to explore ports of call in the Cayman Islands, Honduras, and Mexico.
The seven day workshop, “Information Technology: Revolutionizing Nursing, Nurses and Patient Care,” addressed concerns that arise when trying to incorporate technology, but are often not addressed due to busy workloads.
Presenter Dr. Patrick Coonan, Dean and Professor of the School of Nursing at Adelphi University, presented tools to use data communication, deal with information overload, and implement e-health in nursing’s everyday practice. Dr. Coonan has taught informatics and technology to nurses for more than 10 years.
Participants appreciated stimulating sessions that got them thinking about advanced technology and further education in the growing field of nursing informatics.
“As nurses we must continually grow with our profession and enhance and/or gain new knowledge in caring for our patients. Informatics is an excellent topic to foster this goal and one that can be implemented immediately in all nursing arenas,” said attendee Valerie Kirchmann, an RN from Montefiore Medical Center.
Olive Lamothe, an RN and nurse educator at Maimonides Medical Center has attended Seminar at Sea for four years. She enjoys the engaging topics presented while being able to spend time relaxing at sea.
Lamothe, who is self-professed as “not good with computers and information technology,” said that when she heard about the topic, she knew she had to attend. Lamothe echoed what many RNs experience in the field – that advances in technology help nursing to move forward, but require time to implement – time that nurses don’t always have.
In articles covered in the independent-study component of the program, such as “The Information Explosion and Overload,” Coonan supports the need for nurses to learn how to sort and summarize massive amounts of information as they receive it for increased productivity. Tips for prioritizing e-mail and major databases used to gather information were also shared.
“Electronic Communication: Too Much Talking or Not Really Talking at All?” explored the phenomenon of social media and how it can be applied in health care. Participants learned ways to integrate “e-Health,” a recent term that describes healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication, into daily work activities.