Health, healthcare and technology are what I’m passionate about. I went to school for nursing because I knew I’d be able to work in hospitals during my degree and have a lot of doors open when I finished. Typically nurses apply to hospital or home care nursing organizations for work when finishing. Yet I often find myself on health technology companies, and just for the fun of it I check their career/jobs page to see who they are hiring.
These sites regularly have postings for programmers (makes sense), marketers, project managers, and other typical positions. In the health space they often have researchers or physicians, but rarely actually I don’t think I have ever seen a posting for a nurse. But that does not discourage me and it should discourage other nurses either.
Our skill sets provide us a wide range of skills and abilities. We are taught a broad range of subjects, so we at least have a base of knowledge to dive deeper into specific areas. As early as school placements you learn to deal with challenging situation (illness, stressed families, death, and other difficult parts of healthcare) and how to stay calm under pressure.
A few weeks ago I was excited to find out PatientsLikeMe (PLM) has a nurse working there. I’ve meet Paul Wicks (@PaullikeMe) a researcher, and have been following PLM for a while. It is a fantastic example of how providing patients a place to track and share their medical information with others (patients, researchers, etc.) can help improve their health. So I’m excited to say that through Connecting Nurses I have the opportunity to interview Sally Okun later this week.
Sally is a nurse currently the Vice President of Advocacy, Policy and Patient Safety at PatientsLikeMe. She is the first nurse to speak at TEDMED, and has been with SLM since 2008. Needless to say I’m very excited!
If you don’t know what PatientsLikeMe is check out this short video below.