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My first job was at a hematological ward at Rigshospitalet in 2013. In the midst of settling into my role as a nurse, I began seeing things that I could change to make them better. One of the first things I did was make a diagram of how to connect all the parts of an oxygen humidifiers system together.

The problem
The oxygen humidifiers are often set up in emergency situations where a patients oxygen need increases suddenly. So the we wouldn’t have to find all the individual parts of the system in emergency situations, the nurses in the ward had to pre-pack bags with all the parts of the system. Especially the new nurses – like I was at the time – had trouble remembering all the parts that went into the bags.

From the guideline

So sometimes, when the bags were opened in emergencies, essential parts were missing. The documentation for what to pack in the bags consisted of very low quality pictures of the whole system and text that was a bit hard to follow. So I made an alternative guide, in the form of a schematic drawing. The schematic was used while I was at the ward and became part of the wards instructions for how to use humidifiers. I don’t know if it is still in active use, but last I checked (2019), it’s still part of the guideline (VIP).

What I learned
I learned about the difficulties of implementering things – even simple things – that are improvements. I made the schematic in my free time, but when the clinical nurses wanted me to develop it further, I asked for paid hours to do it. That wasn’t possible. The clinical nurses who put the schematic in the guidelines also had trouble with the files I sendt them. I sendt them PDF files, because I would want that, had I been in their place, because the file quality is better (vector VS raster). But I should have been thinking about what was easier for them to implement, which would have been a .jpg in a resolution fitting for the webviewer used to show the official guidelines.

I learned (again) that I need to make something easy to implement if I want to to be implemented. Even if it might make it a bit “worse”. Or it’s a balance, at least.

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