Learning EMR: an important attitude adjustment

by Lorien E. Menhennett

Learning how to use the hospital's electronic medical record system via a series of videos and short practice sessions is not my idea of fun. But changing my attitude about the experience helped me see it differently.

Learning how to use the hospital’s electronic medical records system via a series of videos and short practice sessions is not my idea of fun. But changing my attitude about the experience helped me see it differently.

Yesterday, I spent a good hour and a half staring at my computer screen, watching modules on how to use the hospital’s electronic medical records system. I don’t think I’m even halfway done. And after the modules, I have a classroom session to attend too. This was tedious and aggravating, as you can imagine. Not to mention overwhelming — so many menu bars, buttons, and icons.

As I watched one of the early videos, I thought to myself: “I won’t learn the system by watching videos. I’ll learn it by doing it.” And then it hit me. As grating as this task is, what it represents — my transition from classroom to hospital — is something to celebrate. Soon I will be using this system to write notes and enter orders. How far I’ve come in such a short time!

That thought didn’t make the videos any more interesting, per se. But it altered my attitude. And that made a world of difference. While the short practice exercises I was doing alongside the videos wouldn’t be my definitive learning experience, I began to see them as an important first introduction to a foreign system.

Always a good reminder: attitude matters. In everything.

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