Medical Librarian Childrens Hospital Colorado Aurora, Colorado
Background: When the librarians approached the nurse leaders of the 6th floor of the hospital (two units) about how they could be of more direct assistance, they were invited to attend daily rounds. They attend once per week per unit, and answer any informational needs as arise. The 6th floor tends to post-surgical, general medical, and neurology monitoring patients. A charge nurse, nutritionist, child life specialist, social worker, case manager, and chaplain are present. Each nurse in turn briefly presents their patient’s status, and any concerns. The whole round takes about 40 minutes.
Description: The librarians sit in on the rounds and offer both on the spot answers to questions using iPad, or take some time immediately after the round to find the appropriate information (be it article, chapter, or similar). The questions can be implied when a nurse simply mentions something that she does not know much about or can be direct when they specifically ask. The answers can be a diagram about an operation, or more complex information up to a search on certain medicines and their use in certain diagnoses. Care is taken to use authoritative sources. On occasion, a question that is not health care related may come up, and that would also be answered as best as possible.
Conclusion: The nurses on these two units do not experience many unusual diagnoses, and are well experienced, so not as many questions were asked as might have been expected, but the questions that arose were answered in a timely manner, within an hour. The librarians have a much better understanding of the work the nursing staff does, and what their informational needs are. The surprising result was the questions asked by the other staff, such as case workers, nutritionists, and social work. Being at rounding helped all staff become more familiar with the library.