End of the day.
Full of work.
Yours was the same.
The doors open to release me.
The fresh, evening air welcomes me.
I push out, out, out.
But your current is stronger, pulling you in, in, in.
Your day has become longer than mine,
Your face wrinkled with worry.
One, two, three, four, five.
The current of your family and friends within pulls you further in, in, in.
I count my blessings as I move against the current.
A catch in his voice.
A tremble of his chin.
He shuffles, shuffles trying to redirect his attention.
Weeks of pain – eternity encompassed in minutes.
He clears his throat.
A handkerchief catches a lone tear.
He grasps at the memory of her.
Afraid to lose her again.
I’m not sure when it happened, but it seems like algorithms and “pathways” have overtaken healthcare. I’m not complaining; I love it. I’m a visual person, so when people explain processes to me, I tend to draw them as I’m listening or reviewing my notes. I’ve found that algorithms turn gray processes and care to black and white. They clarify exactly what everyone can and should do rather than leave that information in one person’s head. I frequently make – and revise – algorithms. They’re easy, artful, practical, and just plain smart work.
I make algorithms one of two ways – in Microsoft Visio or in Microsoft PowerPoint. You could also use Microsoft Publisher, but I prefer not to use it for algorithm creation simply because I know PowerPoint shortcuts and tools much better. Visio is intended to develop algorithms and pathways. It’s incredibly easy to use (especially if you know how to use PowerPoint or Publisher) and takes all the guesswork out of making straight lines and centering text. If you don’t have Visio but make a lot of algorithms (or are planning to do so), purchasing Visio is well worth the investment. No, Microsoft Visio is not paying me for this article; I just love Visio that much. I know, it’s geekily comical. I am unashamed.
If you don’t have Visio, you can still develop your algorithms in PowerPoint. It may take a little longer than Visio, but hey – it works. Open a blank file. You’ll only need to use one PowerPoint slide for this. Start adding your quadrilateral shapes, overlaid text boxes, and add in arrows. Capture or highlight all the items on the slide, group them, and then right-click to save the file as a picture to then insert into other documents. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Do you use or create algorithms in your healthcare setting?
My day today didn’t necessarily deserve this card, but trust me, I have had pah-lenty days where this card would have been more than appropriate. I hope you never have to give it to someone, but chances are, there’s someone you work alongside that really needs a good laugh – or at least needs to know someone is thinking of her or him.
You can download and this card for free.
I know you feel like quitting. Maybe not now. Maybe exactly right now. If you don’t really want to quit, then don’t.
Download it, and pass it on.
I’ve had my fair share of stale PowerPoint presentations. Trust me, I’ve given many of them, too. I find the presentations I enjoy the most have clean aesthetics, minimal text, and provide opportunities for storytelling. Considering I like those things in presentations, I choose to present this way, as well.
I had the lovely opportunity to speak on behalf of the Nurse Oncology Education Program to a group of nurses and nurse faculty at the beautiful Moncrief Cancer Institute in Fort Worth on Saturday. One presentation was directed for faculty on how to make oncology content “stick” in undergraduate curricula, something I’ve grown passionate about as a result of working with faculty over several years. The second presentation was about colorectal cancer screening.
Both topics can be rather dull, so I try to make the content come alive in any way possible – mostly with stories, vocal tone, and creative PowerPoint backgrounds. In preparation for the presentation, I couldn’t find any background I really liked, so I just made my own with simple shapes, lines, transparency settings, and colors. One of the nursing faculty members asked for the templates, so I thought I’d share, share, share in true Nursetopia fashion.
You can download the “Notepad & Tape” PowerPoint template here and the “Screen” PowerPoint template here. (Any large, unused space likely included a picture.) Enjoy!