In order for the concept of a knowledge worker to be applied to the healthcare field, namely, nursing, it is important to identify the characteristics of the position. As the title implies, knowledge workers are individuals to earn a living based on their knowledge. Thus, the theoretical and analytical skills are put into practice, which ultimately depend on the formal and informal training, qualifications, applicable services, and experiences in interactions both with those seeking the service and providing similar services. Thus, the nurse’s knowledge which comes from formal education and informal experiences, defines nursing as a knowledge occupation. Moreover, knowledge workers understand that theoretical knowledge is to be adequately applied to different demographics and situations based on their social and cultural differences. Knowledge workers are diverse and inclusive in how they implement the information that they have acquired, in contrast with the conservativism present in the healthcare industry in the 1950s (Drucker, 1959).
Nurses as Knowledge Workers
It is certain that nurses are highly educated professionals from the perspective of providing direct care to patients and partaking in administrative and organizational initiatives. As mentioned prior, in order for a nurse to operate within a healthcare facility, formal education is required, which highlights the importance of direct knowledge required to operate in the profession. However, it is also important to highlight the importance of informal knowledge, such as experiences working in teams, interacting with various patients, and solving problems. Moreover, nurses apply the theoretical data learned through education to have a patient-centered approach, which is a complex task due to the contrasting personalities, preferences, health conditions, and values individuals have. Furthermore, nurses are healthcare professionals who operate based on evidence. Medical data, research, and factual information are at the core of the profession. Nonetheless, nursing implied that the aforementioned evidence is to be ethically implemented due to the cultural, social, and economic differences of patients they encounter.
Characteristics of the Knowledge Worker
Knowledge workers typically exemplify characteristics that align with the concept of practically putting knowledge into practice in a professional setting. Such positions correlate with the understanding of the sphere of work from an academic and professional perspective. Moreover, knowledge workers, including nurses, are aware of the sources where valid and reliable information is provided. The aforementioned data is to be searched through the designated methods that knowledge workers can implement to acquire insight. Constant improvement is another essential aspect, especially in the healthcare domain, as new research is published every day. Knowledge workers are creative in how they use the information they know and are able to use it depending on every individual and situation they encounter.
Nursing informatics is the field of healthcare in which nurses use technology to gather, process, examine and study data on patients. Thus, the concept is interconnected with the health records, scans, tests, and similar documentation that a nurse is to examine using nuanced technology. The role of nursing information is crucial as it not only relates to nurses ad knowledge workers but also facilitates a more efficient method of information processing while minimizing potential errors. The cooperation between the two concepts, namely, care provision and informational technology, is at the core of nursing information.
The Role of Nurse Leader as a Knowledge Worker
Nurse leaders do not contrast with nurse practitioners in terms of the position implied knowledge work. On the other hand, nurse leaders are to possess knowledge both. The graph highlights the aspects of leadership that are to be considered by individuals in charge of teams and processes within an organization. In a healthcare facility, the role of the nurse leader is not merely limited by supervision. Instead, the knowledge they acquire allows them to apply theoretical data practically in a healthcare environment. This implies addressing the socio-cultural aspects of said environment, establishing effective communication with and among employees, generating professionalism on all levels, and managing business skills and principles. The presented notions cannot be generated without knowledge on the subject of healthcare combined with information and skills related to leadership.
care provision and team management. Moreover, nurse leaders acquire various experiences throughout their careers, which suggests that informal knowledge is an essential aspect of the job. The approaches leaders have when organizing an initiative, implementing a policy, or solving a conflict situation are evidence-based and generated through information on the aforementioned subjects. Needless to say, nursing informatics is another vital subject highlighting nurse leaders as knowledge workers since the data both on patients and workers is examined by them.
Nurse Leader as Knowledge Worker
The graph highlights the aspects of leadership that are to be considered by individuals in charge of teams and processes within an organization. In a healthcare facility, the role of the nurse leader is not merely limited by supervision. Instead, the knowledge they acquire allows them to apply theoretical data practically in a healthcare environment. This implies addressing the socio-cultural aspects of said environment, establishing effective communication with and among employees, generating professionalism on all levels, and managing business skills and principles. The presented notions cannot be generated without knowledge of the subject of healthcare combined with information and skills related to leadership.
The Hypothetical Scenario
The situation in which physicians cannot attend to all the needs of the patient and the individual’s loved one is common. The scenario illustrates a situation in which, due to a busy schedule, the healthcare provider did not establish communication with the patient’s relatives, missing out on information sharing in regard to their loved one’s symptoms, condition, treatment, and prognosis. In this case, the nurse is responsible for establishing communication between a physician, a patient, and a family. Hence, the nurse shows a high level of soft skills in conveying information concerning the patient’s physical state to their relatives, the peculiarities of treatment, and dealing with the emotional well-being of the patient, providing them with necessary spiritual support.
Data Type and Collection
The data acquired through informatics and processed varies. While information regarding health records, test results, and similar aspects of the patient’s well-being is at the core, it is important to consider the information needed from an organizational perspective. For example, oral and written surveys provide data acquired from both providers and receivers of care in regard to various concepts related to health services. Moreover, data may contain an objective or subjective overview gathered through interviews and processed through technological measures. Last but not least, feedback received from patients, their family members, physicians, and nurses is also useful information that is to be considered.
Accumulating Knowledge from Data
Collecting data is essential for addressing organizational issues in an efficient, timely, and ethical way. Maximizing strengths is one of the aspects of data processing that can be achieved. The nurse leader can gain insight when it comes to certain activities, implementations, or policies that increase job satisfaction among team members or trust in the facility among patients to maximize it. Moreover, certain organizational aspects that limit healthcare providers and create internal challenges can also be learned through the acquired data. Last but not least, the knowledge may correlate with certain opportunities that team members have to benefit themselves and their patients. For example, information acquired from different healthcare facilities applying new policies that are successful can be efficiently implemented.
The feedback received from peers highlights the need for specific software when it comes to tracking the patient’s history in terms of medical prescriptions and expiration dates. Namely, it was proposed to implement a cost-effective alternative software that solely is responsible for medication history, especially the psych patients”. Since paper blinders can often remain unnoticed or the information on them misunderstood, the software would ensure the patient receives the needed medication and the prescriptions align with the overall healthcare plan.
Drucker, P. (1959). The landmarks of tomorrow. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.