The Year of the Nurse: In conversation with Julianne Richardson

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is celebrating the important role of nurses in modern healthcare. To mark the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we’re shining the spotlight on our own nursing staff members for a special IMO Q&A blog series.

This year, pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale would have turned 200. To honor her legacy, and to highlight the crucial role that nurses play in patient care around the globe, the WHO has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. At IMO, we’re proud of the depth of knowledge that our employees with nursing backgrounds bring to the company. To honor them during the Year of the Nurse, we chatted with several different nurses on staff about their journeys as clinicians and health IT professionals. Check out our conversation with Julianne Richardson RN, Clinical Terminologist at IMO, below.

Why did you go into nursing?

I chose to go into nursing primarily because I liked the idea of being able to do a variety of jobs and tasks in a healthcare setting.

Why did you eventually decide to focus on health information technology (HIT)?

At my first job in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at the Veterans Health Administration, I took it upon myself to thoroughly review and test out a new software system. I then developed step-by-step instructions and helped teach other nurses how to most efficiently use the system. During this time, I also met with other informatics folks and realized that was the path I wanted to take. This experience prepared me for my next position as a nurse informaticist.

What is the greatest misconception or misunderstanding about your profession?

Overall, as a nurse, I’m not sure. However, in my current position as a terminologist, I feel that it is sometimes difficult to explain what it is that I do – many people assume that I am a medical and billing coder.

What is the most rewarding part of working in patient care?

I remember one open-heart surgery patient making me feel like I was a member of her family and telling me how much she appreciated me and the care I gave her. I remember thinking but I’ve done nothing out of the ordinary. That was probably the first time I realized I was in the right profession.

If you had one piece of advice to give anyone in nursing school, what would it be?

We all bring different things to our profession and to our team of nurses. Even if you feel you are struggling with some part of nursing school – a specific subject, your assessment performance, or studies in general – you will continue to improve. Look for areas where you excel, and it will all even itself out! Finally, get as much experience as you can. Change units, change specializations, make sure to find out where you really want to be.

How do you think your role as an RN has helped you in your role at IMO?

I couldn’t hold the position I do now without my experience as a nurse. Things that I “just know” because I am a nurse are invaluable in the work I do now.

To hear from more from the outstanding nurses on IMO’s staff, check out our previous chats with Lou Ann Montgomery, Whitney Mannion, and David Bocanegra. And test your knowledge with our Year of the Nurse infographic.

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