People Are the Reason We Do What We Do

Nicholas Shadoff

In the 15 years I've been working in the healthcare IT field, I have heard a lot of complaints. "Oh, those darn nurses don't even know how to (technical thing)(huff, sigh)." "These doctors are so frustrating, I wish they weren't on the system." "I could barely walk to the cafeteria because of all the patients wandering around."

I don't agree with them. I realized early on in my career that doctors, nurses and especially patients aren't the problem with HIT -- they're the REASON we do what we do. Nurses don't HAVE to know how to do technical things -- that's MY job. Doctors are frustrating when they're frustrated, and if they're frustrated by their EMR, that's MY job to fix it. And patients "wandering around?" This may be their first trip to the hospital that I work in daily. Hospitals are pretty confusing places to navigate, and it's probably been a stressful day for them. It's MY job to empathize and lead them to their destination if I can. It's MY job. That's the common thread.

My job is to help providers and staff do THEIR job better, so that they can better care for their patients. Those patients are someone's parent, child, sibling, spouse, partner or friend. I would want my own parents, children, friends or spouse to receive the best possible care...why would I want anything different for anyone else?

I'm passionate about what I do, even on the frustrating days, because I know that the time I save a doctor by providing her the information she needs may allow her to see one more patient that day. The information I provide an ICU nurse may allow him to catch a problem before it becomes life threatening. The information I provide a patient through a portal like Epic's MyChart may alleviate their worry. I heart HIT, because it's MY job.