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So I’m walking down Queen Street West looking for the latest Blundstones, beard grooming products and organic hemp cowboy gear when I run into a girl that I sat beside in grade 9 English class. We make eye contact and there is no escape from the forced awkward catch-up conversation about to take place. She asks, “So where do you work and what to you do?” I begin to tell her I work at a hospital and she blurts out something along the lines of, “Oh my God! Are you a doctor or a nurse? You’re so dreamy!” OK the dreamy thing may be an exaggeration but I usually always get the same reaction when someone finds out I work at a hospital. They are usually a bit disappointed when they hear my life isn’t an episode of Grey’s Anatomy but my work has its own unique challenges and opportunities that can impact patient care and taking a Brainstation course in UX design is exactly what I need to take my career to the next level.
I work in the Patient Safety Department at University Health Network which is an organization comprised of Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Western Hospital and Toronto Rehab Institute. As part of my role I am responsible for leading a number of different safety scorecards/reports and meeting with clinicians and administrators to plan and develop initiatives that focus on patient and staff safety.
One of the major challenges of my job is engaging staff and clinicians, especially those on the front line of care. Trying to get a front line manager who has very little time to look at a scorecard of metrics that are reported weekly, monthly and quarterly can be incredibly difficult. Being able to design these reports in a more user friendly way to save time for the manager is absolutely critical. Not only that but we are also in the process of developing a website dedicated to patient safety and knowing how to design the site and potential app would be extremely valuable. These are just a few of the potential benefits I envision taking Brainstation’s UX Design course.
It’s not just the direct skills that I can apply to my current role that I’m excited about. It’s the opportunity to dip my toes into an industry that is everywhere and expanding at an exponential rate. In the past hour I have googled healthcare stats, pulled files from a cloud drive, ordered and paid for Starbucks on my phone and listened to music on Spotify while typing a report. Tech is everywhere and building these skills is going to be essential to differentiate myself in a healthcare industry that is severely lagging (pagers and faxes are still the main modes of communication).
As I begin to prepare for my first UX design class I’m extremely excited to see where I am in 12 weeks. I know it’s going to be a lot of work and there will be challenges ahead but I’m ready. Bring it on Brainstation!