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Interview – Nurse Journalist

For this interview, I sent Jamie Davis some questions.  Jamie is the force behind the website The Nursing Show. Jamie’s primary background is in emergency care both as a nurse and a paramedic.  He currently works as a nurse journalist hosting multiple online radio and TV programs on the ProMed Network.

Before he started working in the health care field, he pursued and achieved a media and journalism degree.  He worked in both studio and field production for TV, independent feature films, and on training and industrial videos.  He eventually transitioned from that to a career as Mr. Mom before becoming involved in local volunteer emergency medical services.  He continued to pursue training for a career as a nurse along the way.

When podcasting became a viable programming option in 2005, he discovered that there weren’t that many regularly produced health care programs for nurses, paramedics, or other health care professionals. He began the first of my many shows (the MedicCast) in late 2005 and the Nursing Show was started in 2007.

He has since started the ProMed Network as a location to bring together the best independent health care programming for and by health care professionals in all fields.  With over 40 shows on the network from a variety of disciplines, it is now one of the premier locations on the web for high quality online radio and TV style programming in the health care arena.

What do you do all day?

I spend a lot of my day working on staying up to date on what is going on in nursing and health care worldwide. I record 5 weekly programs on nursing and EMS topics that include discussions and news overviews and I have to be able to spot trends and hot stories each week.

I also spend a lot of time mentoring and educating others about online media, social media, and using them in relation to a business and health care practice.  In addition to this mentoring work, I am proud to be able to work with several corporate partners to help them create their own high quality medical content. These include Physio-Control, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson’s Campaign for Nursing’s Future (DiscoverNursing.com).

I record shows two days a week for editing and release on their respective release days later.  I currently work almost entirely from a home based studio I built myself slowly over the last 6 years. I also am able to employ my children in the “family business” and it gives them a steady job with more flexible hours than most teens can find. I’m looking forward to the fact that because my business is online, my son will be able to continue to work with me while away at college next year.

I continue to be active in my community, volunteering as both an active paramedic and an nurse in various capacities.

Jamie has been involved in nursing for 6 years and was an EMT and paramedic for 10 years before that.

He loves being able to care for patients in some very special ways. While he enjoys the face to face patient contact he gets in his clinical activities, he is most excited about the opportunities he’s had to influence and instruct so many in the nursing and health career fields via his programs. He says he is passionate about providing high quality patient care and improving outcomes and believe it is important to spread news and information via online programming targeted at health care professionals like nurses.

What frustrates you about your job?

I wish I had more time in the day. As an entrepreneur who has built a business with very little starting capital and expanded slowly, I have to be careful about how I spend my time. While I’m working on several exciting partnerships and enjoying a lot of success, there is so much I’d like to do.

As advertisers in the nursing and health care marketplace begin to move in to supporting and advertising on our programs, I hope that the podcasters and hosts on the ProMed Network (myself included) can expand the scope of their content and continue to create a 24/7 resource for high quality, trusted programs in their fields.

What about your job makes you proud to be a nurse?

It makes me most proud when I get an email from a listener or viewer who tells me about some way I influenced them to improve their patient care or their studies (in the case of students). When I cover a news item, I try to convey my commentary about why it’s important to the individual professional and how they might apply that knowledge in patient care and education.  When I hear that this goal carries through and actually works for someone, I’m ecstatic!

Do you feel you receive adequate support for your responsibilities?

Being the boss, I’ve got no one to blame but myself.  I will say that this is going to be one of the biggest issues for nurses moving forward. As we continue to have to work harder and harder to care for a larger patient load, workplace support is going to be vital for the nurse involved in direct patient care.

What is something a nurse who does not work in your particular field might find surprising about your job?

I think that those nurses whom I have helped to become involved in blogging, social media, or podcasting (creating online shows like mine) are most surprised at how easy it is to get started. When I tell someone that they can create their own webshow and talk to nurses worldwide for about $100 using their home computer, they are amazed. When I take the time to show them how easy it is to set up and do, it empowers them to begin sharing their nursing experiences with a broader audience and help more patients by default.

Are you salaried or paid by the hour? What are your hours?

As an entrepreneur, I’m salaried but it will vary from month to month.  Most weeks, I work about 40 – 50 hours. I’m paid through advertising and consulting revenue primarily.

While I started working on my programs alone, they have all become a team effort. I value the input from my listeners and viewers for their insights in to what is going on in their areas.  I also work closely with the team of programmers and hosts at the ProMed Network to continue to build the audience for everyone.

Was there any extra training besides on-the-job learning that you were required to complete for this job?

My B.A. in communications and training in the media field was instrumental in helping me work in the field I am today.  I think that one of the biggest strengths in nursing is the capability to carry your career in so many directions based on your passions and experiences. I don’t know of any others that provide that kind of range.  I truly apply my entire scope of learning and experience in my nursing career.

One of the biggest complaints given by hospital unit-based nurses is that they rarely have time to eat or go to the bathroom. Do you find that to be the case with your job as well?

I have no one to blame but the boss when I work through meals (which I do too often).  In the hospital arena, and in my experience, this is largely based on an antiquated expectation and tradition that has no place in the current workplace. It is not healthy or productive to care for patients this way. Unfortunately, nurses are great at caring for others’ needs but not so great at caring for our own.  This needs to change and it is up to the nursing supervisory staff to change this paradigm and become advocates for their nurses.

Thanks to Jamie for giving us a glimpse into the world of nursing journalism!  If you are a nurse who works in a non-traditional setting and would like to be interviewed, send me an email at codeblogrn at gmail dot com. My post about this project and a list of interviews done so far is linked here.

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Comments

Thanks! Another great interview…as usual. I can always depend on this blog for great posts.

Hi Jamie,

It seems like the old perception of nursing is changing drastically. For you to even think of doing what you are doing wouldn’t have been possible not so long ago. My mother was a nurse and at that time, I believe nursing was contained pretty much entirely within institutions. Nurses constantly worked with patients and did little administrative tasks. Now it seems like its alm ost the opposite. Sounds like you are in a very enjoyable niche.

Lou Barba

Gina,

Thanks for sharing this interview. I think it’s really interesting to show some uncommon nursing jobs out there. Most people think you have to go right into nursing school from high school, and it’s not true. There are thousands of students like Jamie who went to school to study something else and then stumbled upon nursing later in life.

Gina,

I appreciate this interview. I had no idea there was such a career as nurse journalist. I think it’s important for people to know that if they want to work in health care, there are so many options out there for them!

Gina,

What a fantastic interview and I’m sure a real eye opener for many nurses. Not that long ago as a nurse you were at the bedside with few other opportunities. Now the doors are open wide for yo to choose your own path. Love it!

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  • profileI am Gina. I have been a nurse for 15 years, first in med/surg, then CVICU, inpatient dialysis, CCU and now hospice. This blog is about my experiences as a nurse, and the experiences of others in the healthcare system - patients, nurses, doctors, paramedics. We all have stories!

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