Technology Careers

Careers in Nursing/Health Informatics
Day in the Life of a Health Informactics Project Manager

Hirut Girma
IT Specialty:
Nursing/Health Informatics
Job Title:
Project Manager
McKesson Provider Technologies Resource Management Group
B.S. in Nursing

Q. How long have you had your degree?
A. Since 1983

Q. In what ways do you feel your degree adequately prepared you for your nursing informatics career?
A. It provided a solid nursing foundation. I went back and studied computer engineering for one year and did a LOT of self study on the IT field.

Q. How long have you been in nursing informatics?
A. Over five years.

Q. Have you ever been in an IT specialty outside of nursing informatics?
A. Network and IT support of small offices, I owned my own company, one year. It was finance supporting and not healthcare related.

Q. Why did you choose to go into nursing informatics?
A. I was working as a Financial Planner and the market crashed, good opportunity to use my clinical skills in IT, and get a paycheck.

Q. What personality traits and skills do you possess that you feel help you in nursing informatics?
A. Analytical , flexible thinking, solid clinical experience

Q. What steps does someone go through to get a job in nursing informatics?
A. Work as a nurse first and pick up an IT background, programming skills, infrastructure knowledge, and take on an IT related project rollout position

Q.What are ways to advance in your field?
A. I have my board certification in nursing informatics and Im PMP certified by

Q. What is the most enjoyable thing about your job?
A. Working from home, the freedom to make my own hours, being there to look out for nursing into the future.

Q. What is the biggest challenge regarding your job?
A. Managing a demanding schedule and keeping on track for priority work.

Q.What are your daily tasks like?
A. I have meetings a good portion of the day. In between meetings, I manage email, write proposals, answer questions, arrange resources, write reports and manage the financial aspects of my projects. I work a lot with senior management, contracting, account executives and so on.

Q. What skills do you use at work?
A. Managing priorities, clinical knowledge, project knowledge, information about nurses (how they work), information about systems, system installation, best practices.

Q. What are three current "hot topics" or topics of discussion in nursing informatics?
A. Workflow Redesign, Workflow Redesign, and Workflow Redesign.

Q. Why do you feel nursing informatics is "THE" field to be in?
A. Nursing as a profession is going over the technological divide, screaming, kicking and for the most part being dragged. Nurses are in a position to design the nursing care of the future, or to let go and have others design it and accept the consequences of their own inaction. We are at a pivotal juncture, where nurses can either get engaged, participate, and DRIVE to make sure we negotiate the best way to care for our patients or toss our profession to the wind. Any nurse who values what they do must do whatever it takes to become involved in this journey to build nursing in the technology world.