I’m here, now what? A New Graduate’s Perspective on Education Around Nursing Informatics
Episode

Madeline Stadler, Registered Nurse at Duke University Hospital

I’m here, now what? A New Graduate’s Perspective on Education Around Nursing Informatics

Did you know? It’s an exciting time to become involved in informatics!

In this episode of the Future of Global Informatics, TJ Southern sits down to talk with Madeline Stadler, a nurse at Duke University Hospital, about education around nursing informatics. Madeline recently graduated from Duke, where she got her Quantitative Management Health Analytics Master’s Degree, and is currently looking at how to get more involved in the informatics space, which is why she reached out to TJ and started a conversation around the subject. Madeline shares that she feels excited about the operations side of nursing informatics and running units with improved workflows. They discuss Duke University’s informatics program and the benefits a new graduate can take from it. Madeline reflects on her education and highlights the importance of knowledge application and practice in the field. This episode was a delightful coaching session and chat. 

 

Tune in to listen to a new nursing informatics graduate and learn from her experience!

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I’m here, now what? A New Graduate’s Perspective on Education Around Nursing Informatics

About Madeline Stadler:

Madeline Stadler is a registered nurse at Duke University Hospital, working in a cardiothoracic surgical step-down unit. Madeline got her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Villanova University in 2019 and then a Quantitative Management Health Analytics Master’s Degree at Duke University in May 2022. She is currently figuring out how to enter the exciting world of nursing informatics.

 

Future of Global Informatics_Episode 10_Madeline Stadler: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Future of Global Informatics_Episode 10_Madeline Stadler: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket Network – The Future of Global Informatics Podcast, where we discuss global informatics through conversations with industry leaders and innovators so that you can understand what it is, what it does, and how it shapes the healthcare of our future. I am your host, TJ Southern.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Hey, y’all! Good day, good day! Welcome to another episode of the Future of Global Informatics, it’s your girl, TJ Southern, and today we have Madeline Stadler. Madeline, yay! We have Madeline here with us today. She decided, I put a post out on LinkedIn, we were having some conversations on LinkedIn, and she decided to hop on this conversation train, and you know, so we’re going to kind of do some bantering today and some talking about what the education around informatics and healthcare analytics and things like that. But first, before we get into that, Madeline, tell the people about yourself, what it is you do, who you are, and how do you think that you’re versed to talk about this subject.

Madeline Stadler:
Yes, so I’m Madeline Stadler. I am a nurse currently at Duke University Hospital. I’m working on a cardiothoracic surgical stepdown unit. I know, it’s been an experience so far. And about two years ago, I was looking to go back to school and I found this program, Duke, and it was a health analytics program. And I, it really intrigued me because it was a combination of business and the technical side, and I really recognized that there’s so much data in healthcare and we experience it and we live and breathe it, but we don’t know what to do with it. And it’s just crazy to me that healthcare, that we still don’t know what to do. So I just finished my master’s in May, and now I’m just trying to figure out what to do and how to enter this exciting world of nursing informatics.

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God. When I tell you that I am so excited that you kind of decided to say, hey, yeah, I want to be a part of that conversation, I’m part of that topic. You know, me and Madeline, we’re kind of having a little chat before the podcast. And, you know, I was, we were discussing about the conversation around informatics and around nursing informatics and how it’s not talked about. You know, you guys will hear me say this on our cast several, several times. I’ve been in this industry for 15 years, I’ve had other individuals who’ve been in this industry for 20-plus years, and nursing informatics is not talked about. I don’t know why, I don’t understand why, but I am the CNN of Nursing Informatics, I am the pied piper of nursing informatics. And so that is what the Future of Global Informatics podcast is about. We will talk about informatics, all aspects of it, okay? So how I roped Madeline into this conversation was the education around nursing informatics. As you see, she stated she graduated in May from Duke University. Come on here, Duke. Yeah, I know some Dukies listening to this podcast. The thing that I must say about that Duke program is that they merge business and informatics, which a lot of programs do not do. So you are blessed in that fact Madeline, to have the convergence of the two. So that is awesome in itself, right? Before we really get into all the conversation and the topics, what is it that you do now? You graduated in May, right? What is it that you’re doing now?

Madeline Stadler:
So right now I’ve been more of an actively looking at how to get more involved in the informatics space, and that has honestly been the most overwhelming thing because there’s so much that we can do, and I think they don’t really recognize the power that we have as nurses and the bedside knowledge that we take and what we can bring to the table, and it’s such a powerful and yet overwhelming thing and kind of like how we can leverage our ability to drive change in healthcare.

TJ Southern:
Oh, my God. When I tell you, I kind of, I got goosebumps. Yeah, just you saying it, because I love the fact that you recognize that we have power. Sitting in this seat as a nurse informaticist, we have the power to change healthcare outcomes, we have the power to change data and how it’s viewed, how it’s structured, how it’s gathered, how it’s, you know, analyzed. We have the power to do all of those things. Now, one thing that you said that caught my attention is I’m actively looking, but I’m overwhelmed because there’s so much that I can do. A lot, nurses coming into this field don’t realize that, Madeleine, that there are so many avenues that you can take. You know, actually, before I started this podcast, what I would do is I would actually have one-on-one sessions with nurses who are finishing up their master’s to kind of coach them into the next phase of their career. You know, and the first thing that I used to ask is, what is it that you’re most interested in? So I, we’ll go on ahead and do a little coaching session now here for you, because I just feel in my heart that I just want to help you and some type of way. So what is it in informatics that you are most interested in?

Madeline Stadler:
I really like operations and just how you run the unit. I think it’s, that’s always so interesting to me. I think there’s this, I’ve learned this from business school, there’s this disconnect between being a nurse at the bedside and how your manager, use the flow of, well your clinical unit will keep it really small, like what, she’s being, he or she is being held accountable for, and what, as nurses at the bedside were being held accountable for or to very, I feel they’re almost separate things and we don’t necessarily understand that other piece. And even if we just understood, like having data about what they’re looking for and what they’re being held accountable for. And I even think at work I have two different phones and a computer and something else, I’m like, why do I have four screens? I’m supposed to take care of 31 patients and ten nurses, why can’t it all just be on one screen?

TJ Southern:
Let me tell you, you are like, you’re in the right spot at the right time because you are absolutely right. A lot of times when we are looking for change as far as the data that we are collecting. Now, the part that a lot of informaticists don’t know, and I’m going to educate a lot of you on, is, yes, we look at healthcare data that is one of our main jobs, but our other job is to look at the flow of how the clinicians are actively using the data that we collect. So that’s a whole ‘nother side of informatics, right? We actually have nurse informaticists that are in the trenches with those leadership persons, and what they do is they meet with them councils, right? They meet with them on a monthly basis, on a biweekly basis, and what happens is you get suggestions from the nurses that are on the floor, right, like Madeleine, who come in and say, yo, I have four devices, this is too much, how do we cut this down, right? So then Madeline will take that to her leadership. Her leadership will then go to a nurse advocate or a nurse informaticist or a clinical informaticist, and that clinical informaticist will then figure out how to better Madeline’s workflow, okay? So you are in the right place at the right time, and this is what I suggest, Duke has an amazing health information technology department, like top of the line, okay? Yeah, shout out to y’all Dukies, I love y’all. They have an amazing healthcare information technology department. This is what I would suggest, find you or reach out to your healthcare information technology department and say, hey, I’m a new graduate. I would like to come and shadow, right? And the one thing that I will say about Duke University because I love them, I’ve spoken with them, you know, Duke University is just an amazing informatics program, they have a health information technology leader that will actually allow you to shadow several departments. So not just the department that you’re looking for, you can do policy and procedure, you can do technology, you can do analytics, you can do like, there’s like seven or eight departments that she will allow you to go through. And I, yes, yes, I say she, I’m not going to say her name, but it’s a she that runs the department and she will allow you to go through all of those departments until you find that thing that sparks your lightbulb, right? Because, Madeline, I will be very, very honest and transparent with you, while you may say this is what I want to do, you may really get into that thing and be like, oh, I really don’t want to do that, but this is it. I cannot, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed what I’m doing in informatics. Go on ahead.

Madeline Stadler:
Well, no, I think that’s so true. Like, even that’s how I stumbled upon this program, is that I wanted to go into healthcare administration. I thought I was going to go the traditional MBA route, and this program came available to me and I said, oh, it seems interesting, like it’s Duke, why not? And then I got into the program and said, oh, my gosh, what am I doing with my life? Like, I didn’t know what I got myself into. And now I’m just so excited and I’m so glad that I just took the leap and kind of stumbled upon into this thing, and I think that’s the hardest thing. Especially at the point that I am right now, is that you have to be willing to take that leap and learn from, okay, I don’t like this, but I do like these parts of this job, so now I know what to look for.

TJ Southern:
I love that nugget that you dropped. Hey, and I’ll tell y’all at the beginning of my podcast all the time, make sure that you got a pen and a piece of paper because anybody that we can have on here could be dropping nuggets of knowledge at any time, and look, Madeline gave us a nugget. Don’t be afraid to start over. You may not like what it is that you initially came in and started doing, but there are so many facets. There are so many aspects to nursing informatics you can surely find you something in this discipline to do. Trust me, you can find something in this discipline to do. The thing that I would encourage, Madeline, you, and other new informaticists that are coming in, find you a mentor. Yes, you guys will hear me say that time and time and time and time again, find you a mentor. Your mentor will help, to encourage you, they should be able to help guide you. They’ve already walked through the gauntlet of everything of what is going on. Just like when you’re a new nurse on the floor, right? They don’t put you out on the floor without a preceptor. It’s not possible. You don’t know what it is that you’re doing, right? And informatics is so complex and so vast, right, that you have to have someone to say, well, this is my specialty, but these are all the other things that I did to get to this specialty. You might want to try this, you might want to try that. So that’s what I would encourage anyone, you know, find your tribe, find your people. American Nursing Informatics Association, you have so many things there, you have student groups, you have, you know, I’ll, I will say, we have informatics preceptors that is launching 8/28. We will have a tribe there for people to be able to come to find them, a mentor, just to talk, just to actually say, okay, I’m here, like Madeline, I’m here, now what do I do, right? But keep your excitement, keep your fire. You know, you can definitely find what it is that you’re looking for in informatics. Now, one of the things that I want to make sure that we discuss is Madeline, you know, you said you kind of stumbled on informatics, right? Give us a little bit more about that, because that’s how a lot of us get in, we stumble on it.

Madeline Stadler:
Well, it was really just when I was looking at programs and how I wanted to go about my education. And I was always interested in administration, in quality, in operations. And my dad’s a physician and I was picking his brain and like, hey, like, what do I do? Like, how do I go about this? And he’s always talking about data and how frustrated he is with EMRs. I think I, at least every Christmas or any holiday that I’ll go home, there’s at least one rant about how it doesn’t work, how it’s so useless, how he’s a physician, and why can’t we get the information that we want in front of us at the right time? So I wouldn’t, I have to give him some credit because I feel like at least growing up, you hear that every year, like, oh, okay, maybe I’ll be interested.

TJ Southern:
It’s a problem, maybe I can give a solution, yes.

Madeline Stadler:
Exactly, so I think kind of, realizing and recognizing that there is a problem and what can you do about it, or at least just learning about the problem, I think that’s the hardest thing sometimes that we don’t truly understand what the problem is. We just try to throw solutions at the wall before reflecting on what the problem is.

TJ Southern:
I love that. I love that you stated that. I love that you stated that. The question that I have for you is how do you think individuals such as myself, I’ll call us the grandmothers of Informatics. Yes, I’ll label myself as a grandmother, it’s okay, I’m still cute. How do you think the grandmothers of informatics or analytics, you know, healthcare data analytics, how do you think that we can better support you newbies coming into this discipline?

Madeline Stadler:
I really think it’s just the conversation. I think that it’s something so simple and I hate to really downplay it to just something like a conversation, but it really is. Knowledge is power, and even as I said, like, you don’t even know what’s out there. So having a conversation, and one thing that you could say to be like, oh, that’s going to spark me down another path. And that’s, all those little paths that you, kind of rabbit holes that you go down until you find what you want and what really brings you joy in your career.

TJ Southern:
Let me tell you that that is so simple, yet it is so powerful. And that is really the crux or the reason why I started the Future of Global Informatics. No one is talking about this discipline, just not at all. I remember when I started this discipline years ago and I went to google Nurse Informatics, and I probably was able to find like one or two articles. It wasn’t anything big. Now we have Danielle Siarri, which is like, she is shouting from the mountaintops in her articles what a nurse informaticist is, what they do, how they can help, you know, their value. And so now you have me, TJ Southern, nurse informaticist, CNN reporting here. You guys will get all of your information about nursing informatics, data analytics, analytics here at the Future of Global Informatics. So, Madeleine, we are trying to rectify that issue right there.

Madeline Stadler:
Yes, I love it, and that’s even how I connected with you. I was listening to that first episode of the podcast and I was like, oh, my gosh, like someone’s talking about this because during your undergrad, I think the focus is so much on just getting to that unit and really doing well at the bedside, becoming a nurse practitioner. It’s not to discount, we need strong nurses at the bedside, we need strong nurse practitioners, they bring so much value, but there’s, that’s the power of nursing, it’s that we can bring value to every aspect of healthcare, not just at the bedside.

TJ Southern:
We can. We can, and that is, that’s why I’m a pied piper right now for nursing informatics, to be able to explain to organizations how you need us. Yes, I did say it like that. Organizations, you need us. You just don’t know that you need us. So it is our job to educate you on our value, and all of the many things that we can add not only to your organization, but we can help you with workflows. We can help you with policies and procedures. We can analyze your data. We can help you, like our mindset is totally different. The thing about a nursing informatics or just a nurse, I’m just going to break it down to you as far, as a nurse. We are taught to not only think about our patient, but we are also taught to think about all of the other disciplines that we interact with, guys. So that means we are multi-brained at all times. We think about the physician, we think about dietary, we think about PT, we think about OT, we think about radiology, we think about labs. We think about all of the other disciplines that we interact with, and frankly, we also know their workflows, because their workflows interact and intertwine with our workflows. So that is why having a nurse informaticist in your organization will always be a benefit to you, because it gives you a different perspective, different perspective. So we know that we say that we need to have a conversation about nursing informatics, you know, healthcare informatics, and we’re having that conversation. What things do you think we need to talk about in that conversation? I know, you know, we need to make sure that we make you guys aware that there are different facets to nursing informatics. What other topics do you think that we need to add in this conversation?

Madeline Stadler:
I think it’s really education and not even just education, but the application. Like how can you practice? Like, school is great, but school only allows you to survive in the real world and not drown, that’s all it allows you to do.

TJ Southern:
I love it.

Madeline Stadler:
Look, I know that word that you’re talking about, but you don’t really learn anything. And I always, I remind myself of how I first started. I always say that I learned more in my eight weeks of orientation on the floor than I did in four years of nursing school.

TJ Southern:
Yeah, yeah, and that’s true, and that is true.

Madeline Stadler:
And it’s the same thing for this, too. We can’t, you can go to an informatics program, you can learn all the terms, all the different technologies, and you can learn everything, but you don’t know what you don’t know until you actually start doing something.

TJ Southern:
There it is, and you have it, and Madeline has said it. You don’t know until you start doing. And once you start doing, I’m gonna go back and circle back to her point, once you start doing, if you dislike, it’s okay to start over and to leave and go on to the next thing, as long as you stay in informatics. Informaticists, we need you. Don’t get discouraged about, well, you can’t find a job, you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Don’t get discouraged, just keep knocking on doors, making those connections, find you a mentor, hook up with a group. If you’re already working a job, go to that informatics department, shadow, volunteer, tell them that you just want to be part of a board. As a matter of fact, that’s how I got one of my jobs because I was just interested in informatics and I told her that I wanted to shadow, and she said, well, do you want to be a super user? At that time, I had no idea what a super user was, but I was like, I’m here for it, I’m game, right? I became a super user and then the rest is history, now I’m here. So, Madeline, do you have any final words for our listeners? Do you have any final words for our listeners?

Madeline Stadler:
I guess it’s, I would say it’s such an exciting time to become involved in informatics, and it’s scary and it’s overwhelming, but come join the conversation, join the community. I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m excited to get involved, and if I can do anything to help anyone and any other students I can, I’ll help in any small way I can.

TJ Southern:
Oh, well, thank you, Madeleine, so much. You guys can get her on LinkedIn, Madeline Stadler, you all can connect with her on LinkedIn. Madeline, thank you, thank you. It was an honor and a pleasure to have you on our cast today. Thank you so much for shedding light on the education piece of informatics which is so rarely talked about. So I wanted to make sure that I got you guys in. We’ll have more students come on and talk about their educational experience just so that we can kind of change the narrative. It’s not to bash education, it’s not to bash our current universities and the programs that we have, it’s only just to have the conversation so that we can start making change.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Thanks for joining us today for another episode of the Outcomes Rocket Network – The Future of Global Informatics Podcast. If your organization is looking for informatics talent, go to www.Beryllus.net. That is www. B E R Y L L U S .net, and we can assist you in finding some of the best nursing informatics talent this continent has to offer. We’ll talk to you later! Have a great day! See ya!

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Things You’ll Learn:

  • The Quantitative Management Health Analytics master’s program at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University combines the business and technical sides of health analytics.
  • Nurse informaticists have the power to change data and how it’s viewed, structured, gathered, and analyzed.
  • One of nurse informaticists’ jobs is to look at the flow of how the clinicians are actively using the data that they collect to improve their workflow.
  • Duke University’s informatics program has a health information technology leader that will allow you to shadow several departments.
  • The American Nursing Informatics Association can connect you to nursing informatics preceptors.
  • You don’t know what you don’t know until you actually start doing something.
  • Finding a mentor and shadowing things that interest you are part of the learning process. 

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Madeline Stadler on LinkedIn.
  • For more information on topics related to informatics or on finding talented informaticists for your organization, please visit the Beryllus Website