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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Int. Nursing and Nursing Informatics Day: the big 'C' and little 'c' in nursing

12th May is International Nurses Day and International Nursing Informatics Day: so have a great day!

Even though the vast majority of people use information and communication technology in their work - and this includes nurses - there are many within and without the profession who will wonder what has nursing to do with 'IT'?

Surely 'nursing informatics' is being opportunistic in piggy-backing on the day to celebrate nursing; after all nursing is about people NOT technology? Well that is of course true, technology is a means to an end not an end in itself for nursing. Perhaps there is another way of coming at this and it lies right at the heart of -


It is of course: COMMUNICATION

As I have described on in several posts on W2tQ communication is the means by which health and social care professions differentiate and so define themselves. Communication practices, processes, purposes and policies also provide the foundation for standards and governance. Communication is also at the heart of I.T. and various informatics disciplines. Informatics has benefited from communication models such as the Open Systems Interconnection Reference Model (OSI Reference Model or OSI Model). Nursing and health curricula also stress communication although of course in markedly different contexts.

So where is the glue that enable nurses and informatics to spend this Day together (the degree of harmony is another post)?

The glue for me is the concept of information and the associated concepts of data and knowledge. To which we add a demographic nod to wisdom.

So to all nurses the world over whether you are in nursing, informatics or hopefully you 'work' in both: have an infoeau riche day!