Author Archives: Whitney Washburn RN

About Whitney Washburn RN

Hi, I'm 26 years old. Im currently an RN at St John's Hospital in Springfield, MO. I am currently working on my BSN and am graduating in Fall 2012. This is my very first blog! :) Follow my e-portfolio @

Informatics Student of the 21st Century


Below is a video about Medication Safety for nurses of all kinds.



Parker-Pope, T. (2011). Medication-Injuries on the Rise. The New York Times. Retrieved from

(2011). Medication Errors: Cut your risk with these tips. Retrieved from

Graban, M. (2012). Statistics on healthcare quality and patient safety problems-errors & harm. Lean Blog. Retrieved from

Or visit to view.

CIS Mind Mapping


This Mind Map below is an outlined map of ideas related to EHR (Electronic Health Record) implementation to a hospital facility.  This map helps to organize different regions of considerations when choosing a system, as well as who and how this might influence employees and patients. Below this mind map are resources with helpful weblinks when choosing an EHR and implementing this change.

Click here for full image at


(2010). Clinical Information System. Retrieved from

Walker, C. B., CNB, CHBC. (2011, Feb 3). The No-Confusion Way to Choose an EHR. Medscape News Today. Retrieved from

Nelson, R. (2011). How To Choose an EHR After a Demo. MedPage Today’s Retrieved from

(2006). Planning Your EHA System: Guidelines for Executive Management. MHCA/SATVA. Retrieved from…/MHCA-SATVA-PlanningYourEHRSystem.pdf

Asthma Webliography


Research in asthma

With an estimated 20 million people in this country suffering each year from asthma, it has become a large topic of conversation (Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). And with the disease process of asthma becoming more and more prominent in this country, as has the research process for prevention, management and education for patients, parents and healthcare professionals. This has been a large web-based and clinical topic for many patients, families and healthcare professionals lately.

Asthma is a disease classified as a chronic inflammatory disease and bronchospasm in the airways (Wikipedia, 2011). Bronchospasms are said to be an over-reaction or “hypersensitivity” of the immune system towards environmental triggers. These bronchospasms are usually sudden and severe but can be easily controlled with a bronchodilator. Asthma can affect people of all age groups and can be caused by many types of triggers. Symptoms of this disease include “wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath” (Wikipedia, 2011). The acuity of bronchospasm is directly relates to the type of intervention needed for each patient scenario. The following web sources offer information regarding the disease process, interventions, education for all groups and current research on the disease process.

US National Library of Medicine: PubMed Health


PubMed offers a large variety of information on asthma from disease basics to interventions to prevention. This site offers a large number of signs and symptoms for patients and their families in order recognize this condition. This site also provides many helpful graphics and diagrams related to the disease process. Also listed, is a helpful link listed for asthma patient support groups.



This site offers an overview of asthma in many areas including the general disease process, research, treatments and medications, classifications of the disease, genetic relation, socioeconomic factors, management and prevention, as well as lifestyle modifications. This site also provides graphics and diagrams for learning. This is a very good site for comprehensive overview of the disease process, however, is not considerate to be a scholarly research tool.

Mayo Clinic


Presented by a prestigious research clinic, this site is very well organized and comprehensive in nature as well. Mayo Clinic offers a large amount of information regarding basics such as symptoms, causes and risk factors. There are also patient education tools listed here from medicines to making physician appointments. This site also offers a large amount of information regarding lifestyle changes and home remedies for treatment. Helpful links are also listed for contacting support groups and coping techniques.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Asthma—Information for Specific Groups

The CDC has a great website set up for asthma education. This site offers helpful educational tools for parents, pediatrics, elderly, and healthcare professionals. The tools listed for learning consist of helpful resources, programs, data/surveillance, and legislation regarding the disease. This website is full of asthma information in general terms to medical terms, graphic links and helpful printouts and brochures.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Free Continuing Education

This site is wonderful for asthma patients and their families. The AAFA has organized this site to provide information helpful to patients with asthma and other allergies, and then further cater to those with intrinsic or extrinsic asthma diagnosis. Each type is offered helpful information regarding prevention, tidbits for different situations, medication information, and how each intervention tool is used in treating patients with asthma. This site is also offered in Spanish.

Partners Healthcare: Asthma Center

Asthma Research Center at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital

This site is ran by Brigham & Women’s Hospital, which is large asthma research center. Here they offer information on recent studies and clinical trials with new medications and as well as recent findings in asthma. They also have an area and contact number to be able to join asthma studies.

United States Environmental Protection Agency: Human Health Research

Asthma Research

The EPA has a large website offering helpful information on current research in the works, as well as new research highlights and outcomes. This is a comprehensive site fact sheets, helpful links and resource publications. The EPA also offers email alerts for those closely following these studies and other research.


(2011). Asthma research.  United States Environmental Protection Agency: Human health research. Retrieved from

(2011). Asthma. Wikipedia. Retrieved from

Health Care Informatics


What is Health Care Informatics:

Healthcare Informatics is way of managing many different types of information. It “focuses on managing information in healthcare…[and] is an umbrella term that describes the capture, retrieval, storage, presenting, sharing and use of biomedical information, data, and knowledge for providing care, problem solving and decision making” (Thede, 2010, p. 6). Informatics plays a vital role in accurate retrieval of data in order to help with research and education.

What I learned the first week in Health Care Informatics:

I first learned some of the crucial glossary terms that are commonly used in the informatics world. Learning these basic terms helps me to have a foundation for learning further topics in order to understand and correlate information in order to understand how informatics affects healthcare. I also learned what a large role that informatics plays in my own career today.

Why Health Care Informatics is important:

I’ve learned that through the world of technology so much more can be accomplished in the world of nursing. The fact that data can be processed into a correlation of data that can then be processed into a report, which can then be used in research of a specific group, etc. makes the world of healthcare an information archive all in itself. The world of informatics makes collecting, retrieving, using and applying data so much easier and makes the world of healthcare grow exponentially as far as research based evidence. I think learning to utilize technology available only helps us to grow and become so much better at what we already do.

Informatics Competencies Self Reflection:

  • Word Processing:  Reviewing the results of this application, I feel I’m mostly competent in this area in utilizing this application to its fullest without having many issues in the process. I have learned this application with many years of schooling that has required this program with nearly every assignment. I feel that I can use this app to complete each assignment with rare difficulties. I think with even more time with the application in my education I will be able to utilize this application even more and be able to utilize more shortcuts and keys instead of clicking. This is probably my most utilized application of the others.
  • Excel: The results of my excel assessment were not surprising, unfortunately. I think I remember some of the basics of the application from my CIS 101 class a few years ago, but rarely use this application so have forgotten many of the common uses and basic skills. I think using this app to complete the assignment will help bring back some of my basic skills and help me to think of other ways to apply this to my everyday uses.
  • PowerPoint:  This application I also feel that I could learn to better utilize. I originally learned how to use this app also in my CIS 101 class, but use it only on occasion. I think it is a great app though to use for projects that require presentation and can provide easy learning of material when presented in this format. I think the class will help me better use this app as well as far simplifying its use by practicing. 🙂
  • Basic Computer Skills: I think my basic computer skills are definitely good enough for online classes. However, I think there is a large grey area that I know nothing about. I think with more practice and use, I will be able to learn more shortcuts in this area as well.
  • Web Skills: As far as web skills..I think the internet is made simply for common people to use, but I definitely have a large area of grey in this department as well. I think I can easily navigate and make use of the internet for what purposes I use it for, but I think with this class I am learning even more about what I don’t know about the internet and how to better utilize what is out there for people to use, see and talk about. I think practice here will definitely be very helpful for the future.

Most all of these skills I have learned or reviewed from CIS 101 class in college and then proceeded to maintain or, unfortunately, go by the wayside. I hope that with this class, though, I will be able to regain some of my lost skills and gain competence in these areas of application once again. I think practice does make competent at least 😉 Informatics makes great use of all of these apps and skills by using them frequently to organize and correlate data, make sense of data and then proceed to put in to words the meaning of the data. So all of these apps are useful in this area of healthcare/nursing. I think with a little more practice, I will be back on the right track of making full use of these apps. I’m excited about that.

Thede, L. Q., & Sewell, J. P. (2010). Informatics and nursing: Competencies and applications (3rd ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.