Want to Become an EMR Specialist? What Nurses Need to Know
By Jennifer Larson, contributor
All nurses have one important thing in common: they want to care for patients to the best of their ability. And they can accomplish that in many different ways.
If you are a nurse with an affinity for technology, you might consider becoming an electronic medical records (EMR) specialist or even pursuing a career in nursing informatics.
EMR specialists are crucial to the quality of a healthcare organization because they understand the workflow of a bedside nurse and know how information that’s documented in electronic medical records can be leveraged to better inform the delivery of all aspects of care.
With this kind of expertise, you may become a very attractive candidate for potential employers, for either full-time staff opportunities or EMR travel nursing jobs.
Building a valuable skill set
Here a few questions to ask yourself when considering electronic medical record nursing jobs:
- Do you enjoy the precision of documentation, knowing the importance of a full and accurate record of a patient’s health information?
- Are you interested in analyzing data, creating reports and evaluating the process to make sure everything flows smoothly?
- Are you the kind of person who’s comfortable fielding questions from peers and providing support to them?
With this kind of knowledge and expertise, you can ensure that a hospital or healthcare organization is getting the most accurate information in the EMR, which can improve the quality of care provided for each patient. Your organization will also be better positioned to measure and identify results that can affect decision making and drive improvement. You could even be a vital part of an EMR upgrade or EMR conversion.
In fact, many organizations will hire temporary travel nurses for EMR jobs that involve supporting physicians, nurses and others through a system implementation or upgrade.
Nurses with a particular interest in healthcare information and technology might even consider pursuing a career path in nursing informatics. Nurse informaticists receive additional training and education and go on to play a critical role in ensuring that patients receive safe care, even if they’re not the ones at the actual bedside. Using technology, they gather and analyze data to find ways to improve healthcare delivery¬–and it’s all informed by their clinical background.
It’s a rewarding and challenging career, according to Kathleen Ulanday, MHA, MBA, BSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, president-elect of the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA).
Nurse informaticists function as a conduit or translator between clinical staff and information technology staff. In fact, Ulanday considers herself an advocate for bedside nurses. She knows the right questions to ask--and she knows what to do with the answers. People without that kind of experience won’t fully understand a bedside nurse’s workflow and how she or he documents and must interact with other members of the healthcare team.
“When you don’t have that background,” she explained. “Certain things will be missed.”
Keeping an eye on your EMR job prospects
Having EMR expertise can make you a very valuable employee, even though different organizations may use different products. As Ulanday noted, “Every electronic medical record is different, but they have the same concepts.”
You may be eager to put your skills to work in a permanent position. But if you’re interested in taking an EMR travel nursing job, NurseChoice, an AMN Healthcare company, can connect you with employers looking for nurses who are electronic medical records specialists. Your skills will put you in a good position for EMR conversion projects, as one who understand the ins and outs of EMRs and what nurses and physicians need to do their jobs.
TravelNursing.com has thousands of specialized travel nursing jobs available.
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