At Caring Support we like to keep an eye on healthcare workers and caregivers who make the healthcare field better with their work and inspire others to do the same. That's how we connected with Barbara Olas, or as many nurses know her on social media, @yournursingeducator.
Barbara is a Registered Nurse (RN) who works on a cardiology floor in Toronto. She is also an educational content creator and small business owner, whose goal is to inspire and educate nursing students as they start their careers.
Recently, she took some time from her busy schedule to speak to our team and answer these questions. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did!
It's genuinely one of the best feelings out there - knowing that I'm helping those who help others is very rewarding. I've been through the stressful nursing school years and anxiety-provoking weeks of the "new grad life"... it wasn't easy. If I can ease some nerves and provide educational tips, not only do I get to help out that specific individual, but I'm also contributing to improving the healthcare field in a sense. Nothing beats that feeling.
If I had to choose something, I would say that receiving messages and e-mails from followers saying they aced their test or passed their board exam due to my help is the best part of it all.
The best learning happens hands-on, so take advantage of your clinical and lab time!
When you're at clinical, volunteer to help out with everything - changing IV tubing, Q-15 minute vital sign assessments during blood transfusions, pressure ulcer dressing changes, etc. These learning experiences will help you connect the dots with your lectures/readings, and after a while disease processes and nursing interventions will finally make sense, I promise.
As a nurse, the key to my success is that I'm always learning. 4 years in and I'm still asking questions on every shift, connecting the dots in patient cases, and striving to be as knowledgeable as possible.
As an influencer, I think that talking to my audience the same way I would a nursing school colleague helped a ton. Breaking things down and concisely explaining concepts without all the extra "fluff" that's usually included in textbooks and lectures helps get the main points of a topic across, and this is what students love to see.
In addition to the way I explain concepts, consistency is key. Getting your content out there on a regular basis is only going to benefit your platform.
NurseIQ is my newest venture! It's my small business focused on providing need-to-know information to nurses and nursing students in the form of reference cards. These reference cards can be attached to a badge reel or lanyard for easy access to key nursing information 24/7.
I cover everything from code blue drug dosages and blood work order of draw, to emergency maternity interventions and pediatric vital signs. And, since I'm working as an RN, I know exactly what kind of information nurses need on-hand, especially in emergency situations.
The connection and trust I have built with my Instagram audience are the things that have helped me achieve my business goals. They already knew that they'd be receiving a high-quality product based on the three years of quality content I've shared with them already.
There are so many exciting things happening with NurseIQ in the future, I wish I could spill the beans already! All I can say is that we are focused on growing even bigger and reaching more healthcare professionals.
I think nursing schools need to start acknowledging the hundreds of career choices students have access to after graduating. Bedside nursing isn't the only option.
So many new grads feel they're trapped working on a med-surgical floor, and although the experience is great, there are so many opportunities for nurses to impact patients and the healthcare field without being tied down to 12-hour bedside shifts.
To learn more about Barbara's journey, her content, and more, you can find her at @yournursingeducator on Instagram and shop her products at www.nurse-iq.com.
We'll keep you updated on all new application updates and features!