I never really thought twice about how large of a part our digital identity plays in our everyday lives at work. Ever since I became a nurse you’ve needed a digital ‘ID’ for just about any and every piece of technology (or tool) while caring for our patients. Everything from placing orders through, checking laboratory values, dispensing medications, monitoring of controlled substances and usage of specialized pain management delivery systems requires you to ‘sign on’ with a username and password.
It never dawned on me how much it became second nature, until it wasn’t ‘second nature’ anymore. I recently transitioned from a full-time employee to a per-diem employee (I call it being a ‘some-timer’). I attend school full-time and work a couple shifts a month to keep my ‘skills’ sharp.
The old adage, ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’ definitely applies to all things, not just nursing skills. It hit me like a wall this morning when I was clocking in for my shift, “Holy cow! I have to sign-on.” All the previous mentioned responsibilities required me to enter my digital information. And of course I couldn’t use a ‘master’ or ‘universal’ digital ID could I?? No, that would be too easy.
Luckily, during my wave of fear, I remembered that I had the forward thinking to write down all my ID’s for each service, and they were in the bag with all my gear! Which is exactly what you aren’t supposed to do according to the security officers and all the ‘IT’ staff. Had I not ‘broken’ the rules and wrote all my username and passwords, I’d still be at work trying to figure out what to do. Or they probably would have had to give me temporary access to get me in the system again. Who knows!
Am I alone on this? Has anyone else had this mini panic attack?
Are there any other per-diem or casual employees out there? What is your secret for remembering your numerous identities?
Sean Dent is a second-degree nurse who has worked in telemetry, orthopedics, surgical services, oncology and at times as a travel nurse. He is a CCRN certified critical care nurse where he's worked in cardiac, surgical as well as trauma intensive care nursing.
After five years practicing as an RN, Sean pursued and attained his Masters of Science in Nursing. Sean currently practices as a Board Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC) in a Shock Trauma urban teaching hospital.
He has been in healthcare for almost 20 years. He originally received a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sport Science where he worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC).
By Sean Dent