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!
Thinking of Lean In and working moms, I remembered a video my three-year old son “found” on YouTube (true story) about how motherhood saved the Toy Story 2 movie. (It’s one of “our” favorites.) It’s just a neat story. And it’s animated. Animation always makes things better.
I love seeing real nurses in pictures and films. I’ve had enough of the well-groomed-young-nurse-hugging-my-clipboard photos. Show me some real nurses. Here’s a few projects that do just that:
- Joy Williams, RN, from Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses her work and love for Project HOPE in this short film.
- Photographic film captures the essence of nurses and their work in The American Nurse Project, a “photojournalistic journey that aims to capture and share the images and stories of nurses from all across America and to celebrate the role of the nurse in this country’s healthcare system.” The creators chose six nurses to feature in a full-length documentary, and simply based on the nurses’ brief bios, this is going to be an amazing film when it debuts in Fall 2013.
- NURSES, If Florence Could See Us Now is a documentary celebrating the work of nurses. As the film trailer points out, most people have a hard time explaining what exactly a nurse does, but rather explain nursing through how nurses make them feel. That’s powerful stuff.
- The Truth About Nursing has a list of nursing-related documentaries, along with “nursing” and “artistic” ratings.
- Nurses is a four-part documentary of Australian nurses. It was actually planned and filmed by nurses.
- A quick search on YouTube reveals over 53,000 results. Looking through the first seven pages of results, at least, there are definitely gobs of short films on real nurses and their work. I love that. After page seven, the results get a little sketchier, so you might have to refine your search criteria to get real nurses who aren’t wearing – ahem – “unapproved” scrubs.
Are there any other photographic or film pieces capturing real nurses that inspire you?