Anybody know the name of a nurse inventor off the top of their head?
Google Anita Dorr. Talk about her the next time you pull out her inventions at work (don’t worry, you will).
Wrote to the Doodlers about inventions, and how nurses need to speak up and claim the ones that are theirs!
Subject: Why Nurses Need A Google Doodle: (<–Oops! I sent without finishing)
April 25, 2014. 10:45PM.
I’m beat. Vacation always has the ability to make me more exhausted than work. To be honest, I was dragging today, glad to have patients who required little from me but an encouraging smile and a watchful eye.
Not much energy to spare for extensive innovation research, but I wanted to talk to you today a little bit about inventions. As I’m sure you know, the health care field is full of them. It amazes me how tiny straws open blocked arteries of people’s hearts, adding years to a life attempting to end. What about the equipment I take for granted every shift? Beds that inflate to make repositioning easier, machines that pump calculated amounts of medication into the veins of my patients, keeping them alive. I have no clue what nursing would be without these incredible inventions.
Today, I was introduced to a new invention. A green cap filled with an alcohol-soaked sponge, to sit atop the ends of my patient’s peripheral IVs and larger ports of entry known as central lines. This cap, assumes that not all nurses accessing IVs do it correctly, or the same way, has one function: Sterilization. Infections from large IVs are nasty killers, and one of the hospital no-no’s that CMS refuses to reimburse. It has a one-time-use lifespan, and serves one job only: A cap for a cap, to prevent infection.
Huh. My first question to the salesman was, “What’s the evidence?” My second, “Who invented this?” Essentially, the inventor saw a problem with consistency – nurses not wiping hubs, or wiping them incorrectly – and used that ‘error’ to generate a solution.
It’s common, whenever something poorly-designed comes onto the unit, for nurses to say, “Well, a nurse sure didn’t invent this.” We know the ins and outs, the errors and challenges, the selling points that work and the ones that frustrate, more than anyone. When something well-designed comes onto the unit, I always wonder: “Huh. Did a nurse invent this?”
And that’s where I am today. I’d like to tell you about nurse inventors, but I just don’t know any of them off-hand. I’d spend some time Googling, but I’m sleepy, and back to work in the AM. Perhaps my nurse-readers will chime in? This, essentially, is why I think we need one of your fancy doodles – we’re out there, creating brilliant solutions to problems, changing patients lives for the better – we just really stink at talking about it!
I will say, the inventor of the crash cart – the large, red, rolling cabinet present in all “Code Blue” scenes on TV (yes, that actually exists) – was a nurse. And she was working in a hospital in my hometown of Buffalo, NY when she had her husband build the very first one because she was tired of all the time wasted running for supplies in an emergency.
Funny, that’s the main reason why I’ve skimped on sanitizing my patient’s IV before accessing it – I just can’t find the supplies easily, and I make do. Bad practice, but one we’re all guilty of. These green alcohol caps I used today? They pop off of a strip of plastic like candy. Each end has a loop so they can hang, nice and handy, from the IV pole beside each patient’s bed. Dang. That detail must’ve been a nurse’s idea.
Amanda Anderson, RN