I haven’t written a book review since I was in high school, which was when we had a 1 term President from Plains, GA. For those of you who know who this President is and when he served, then you know that was quite a while ago.
So if it has been several decades since my last book review, then why now?
- I really need the practice
- It is one of the few books in the last 10 years that I’ve read cover to cover
In the interest of “Keeping it Real”, I have no real connection with the author or the publishing company. This review is completely spontaneous and was not solicited by anyone. I am simply a customer who purchased “The Nerdy Nurse’s Guide to Technology”, by Brittney Wilson from Amazon for $30.39 and is taking the time to give my feedback.
The purpose of the book
- Provide tools for nurses to incorporate technology into their practices thus making them assets to their employers.
- Illustrate how technology is used as an aide in delivering care.
- Help nurses who are less knowledgeable about technology overcome barriers to learning about technology.
- Help nurses see technology as an asset rather than a barrier to providing care.
About the Author
Brittney Wilson, BSN, RN is an informatics nurse with a passion to improve health care and everyday life through the use of technology. She identifies herself as a patient, nurse, and technology advocate and actively blogs on related topics at TheNerdyNurse.com.
She attended Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Georgia, where she obtained an associate of science in nursing. She later attended the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, where she obtained a bachelor of science in nursing. Wilson has worked with Johnson & Johnson on its Campaign for Nursing’s Future.
She is a national speaker and has given presentations for the international EMR provider Meditech. She also works as a brand ambassador for Scrubs magazine s popular nursing website and print publication. (Courtesy Amazon.com)
My overall impression of the author is that she lives by the words she writes. Brittany is a self proclaimed “nerd”, and is apparent in the book that she wears the label as a badge of honor. She is intimately familiar with the software and hardware she writes about, and does so in a conversational tone. I was impressed that any time she threw out jargon, she followed up with definitions and explanations in plain English. This style is very helpful for the reader who is starting at technological ground zero.
Those of you who are more familiar with technology will not be bored. The writing style is entertaining even when covering topics that you know well and have read about hundreds of times. As an experienced tech user, once you get into the meat and potatoes of the book you will learn something new that will help your workflow in whatever you do, not necessarily just nursing.
I read the book from cover to cover in about a week. I am not the type of person who can sit and read for long periods of time, so my reading is done a chunk here an there. The book is written and organized to be easily read like that, and was a staple in my bathroom until I finished it.
What’s on the Inside?
The book starts out with general discussion on how nurses can incorporate technology into their jobs and likening it to having more tools in one’s toolbox. By adding tools to your toolbox you are able to do your job more efficiently. Not only that, but if you become an expert at these technological tools then you become an even more valuable asset to your employer. In this chapter we first see the “Tech Tips” and “Nerdy Notes” that are sprinkled throughout the book used as side notes to further explain terms such as LARPing, EMR, and Google Docs. If you have read any of the “For Dummies” books and like that style, then you will feel right at home with this book.
When I read the chapter on Google, I thought to myself, “What can the author tell me about Google that I don’t already know?”. The writing style is humorous and entertaining so I was willing to read a chapter on something I thought I already know a lot about. To my surprise, I learned things about Chrome that I didn’t know about, and am now a Chrome convert for all things related to this website. Having all of my bookmarks associated with my Google account being able to access them from any computer with Chrome installed is awesome. If you are not familiar with Google or Google apps, and even if you think you know all things Google, you will find something of value in this chapter.
The chapter on social media delves into how how it can be used to promote nursing and why nurses should be involved in social media. There are brief explanations of various social media platforms and their focus. Most of us are most familiar with Facebook. Over the last year like the author, I have become a big fan of Twitter. The book discusses how social media platforms can be used in positive ways and also illustrates pitfalls that should be avoided. The discussion of HIPPA I found thought provoking and has helped fuel my interest in learning more. The section of blogging I found to be most interesting because I am an aspiring blogger and take every opportunity to absorb information that can help me polish my craft. It is obvious that the author has a passion for blogging, and shares how blogging has helped her overcome some personal issues.
Are you excited about computers? If not then there is a chapter that will get you excited. There is a brief discussion about how computers being used to improve patient care and not only that, can be used to connect with your “nursing tribe”. The discussion on buying a computer is brief, but is enough to point you in the direction of more in depth resources. It is in this chapter that I first came across the term “meaningful use”. If you are someone who is irritated by having to use an EMR (electronic medical record), “meaningful” is why the EMR is here and not going away. And of course what discussion about computers would be complete without arguing MAC vs. PC.
Are you someone familiar with smartphones and tablets? If you aren’t and even if you are, you will learn something you didn’t know before. For example I learned the difference between a resistive screen and a capacitive screen. I enjoyed the examples of how tablets are being used in patient care settings. Just as in the computer world there is the never ending MAC vs. PC debate, in the smartphone and table world there is the never ending Android (Google) vs. iOS (Apple) debate.
There is even more discussion of EMR’s, EHRS, and PHRS. Gee aren’t acronyms fun? If you aren’t familiar with them, then the nerdy notes will define them for you. The term “meaningful use” surfaces again. I have to admit that I had never even heard of the term before reading this book, and I’m guessing a lot of nurses out there haven’t either. It is something that is important to understand because it is government mandated and drives the way we do our jobs especially when it comes to documentation.
The bottom line is that becoming proficient with technology makes you a more valuable employee. The more skills you possess the more career opportunities avail themselves to you. Technology is not going away, and in fact is coming on at a faster and faster pace. The last 2 chapters discuss this and give examples. If you haven’t felt good about technology up to this point, when you are done with the book you should feel much better.
After reading the book, I wasn’t sure who the actual target audience was. At first it seemed to be aimed at someone not so technologically savvy. As I got further into the book, I thought it got a bit “deep into nerd territory” for a novice, however whenever I felt this way, a “Nerdy Note”, or “Tech Tip” was right there which is exactly what a novice needs in order to not get lost in the nerd forest. As someone who considers himself tech savvy, I still walked away learning something from this book. I didn’t skip sections on subjects I already knew, because the writing was entertaining and fun to read. I laughed out loud when I read the following:
What if the computers go down?
If the system goes down, then you will follow established downtime procedures. If the power goes out, backup generators will kick in and the system will continue to run.
What if the Zombie Apocalypse hits and all the power and utilities cease to function?
At that point, you’ve got bigger fish to fry than trying to chart on your patients.
I hesitated at first to spend $30.39 on a book that is 192 pages including the index considering technology is a subject I already knew a lot about. I would have bought the Kindle version if it sold at a discount to the paperback. Since pricing was the same I decided to go old school on this one. If you have a curiosity about technology then I recommend buying the book. If you read the Nerdy Nurse blog and like her writing style, then I guarantee you will like it. If the price is an issue then split the cost with a friend and share the book. Half of $30.39 is only 15 bucks and change. Split the cost with a friend and for the price of 3 pumpkin spice lattes you can own a book that will expand your mind and give you hours of entertainment.
So until next time remember…