Jackie Wirz’ entry in our contest for Medical Librarians Month tells the story of her journey from a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology to Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist. It all started one night in the ER when she knew that Google was not the right tool.
by Jackie Wirz
Biomedical Research Specialist
Oregon Health & Science University
Sitting in the emergency room, I felt a surprising sense of calm. Going to the ER in the middle of the night was an extreme precaution – although the chemical to which I was exposed could be potentially very dangerous, I was feeling normal (well, as normal as one could feel while doing a 36 hour protein purification). No burning lungs, no severe nausea, just a sense of mild boredom while I was waiting to be seen.
I was told that it was my lucky night, as one of the attending physicians happened to be an expert in chemical exposure. He bustled into the room, firmly shaking my hand while giving me a critical once over. Having ascertained there was no immediate danger; he turned to the computer and asked me to name the chemical I was exposed to. I replied, and watched with mounting horror as he opened up Firefox, and proceeded to Google the name of the chemical. Read more »
For our 2014 Medical Librarians Month Contest, Basia Delawska-Elliott told us her story about making a difference in a patient’s life.
by Basia Delawska-Elliott
Health Sciences Librarian
Providence St. Vincent Medical Center
I was just coming back from lunch when I ran into Jane at the hospital entrance. I was so glad to see her! Jane was a cancer patient, who used to be a library regular, but she had not come into the library for quite a while and I feared the worst.
Jane first came to see us having just received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Straight from the doctor’s office she marched into the library. I am sure that she was devastated and scared, yet she was determined to learn as much as she could and to stay in control of her treatment. I remember when she walked in to the library she had a look of determination on her face. She sat down, told me of her diagnosis and then before I could respond in any way she said “I am going to need a lot of information to beat this thing and I am hoping you can help me with that”. I immediately assured her that I would be glad to help in any way I could. Jane wasn’t the first cancer patient that came to the library seeking information, but she was definitely the most matter-of-fact about what she needed to do, and that set the tone for our relationship. Read more »
We are happy to announce Kathy Fatkin as the winner of the 2014 Medical Librarians Month Contest! Kathy has won a $1500 travel scholarship to MLA 2015 in Austin, Texas. Thanks to all who entered and for telling us your story about how you have made a difference. Additional entries will be posted over the next few days.
by Kathy J. Fatkin PhD, AHIP, RN
Medical Librarian, Researcher & Evidence-Based Practice Coordinator
Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center
Idaho Falls, ID
I am a solo librarian working at a community hospital and like other health sciences librarians I work to provide health information that will improve lives. In my position I serve on the hospital’s nursing research council (NRC) and as a group the NRC works on evidence-based nursing practice. We have performed multiple literature reviews with summaries of evidence to guide clinical nursing practice. This activity gave me practice reading and evaluating research articles. I realized I have the skills not only to find current evidence but I could add value to my library services by including summaries of evidence to save time for the clinical staff. Read more »
During November, the nation collectively recognizes the achievements, contributions and rich culture of the Native Americans.
Native American Heritage Month was first recognized in 1915 with the annual meeting of the Congress of the American Indian Association, building upon previous work of Dr. Arthur C. Parker. Despite this proclamation, various states began organizing days of commemoration at different times of the year. It wasn’t until 1990 that a joint resolution from the White House was issued, designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. Learn more about the history of Native American Heritage Month from the Library of Congress. Read more »
|Pictured from left to right, Dr. Donald Lindberg witnesses the Semiahmoo blessing of NLM’s totem with Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen and Chairman of the Lummi Nation Cliford Cultee in September of 2011.
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) since 1984, has announced he will retire at the end of March 2015.
The Medical Library Association named Dr. Lindberg as an honorary member in Spring 2014, noting: “Health professionals, health information practitioners, and the general public have benefitted immeasurably from enhancements to the databases, products, and services developed at NLM under Lindberg’s exceptional leadership.”
This week, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a statement (http://www.nih.gov/about/director/11062014_statement_lindberg.htm) about Dr. Lindberg’s innumerable contributions as NLM’s distinguished director.
As noted, his support and interest in expanding the scope of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) has resulted in important partnerships with minority serving institutions, tribal and community-based organizations, and the public health community. As one example, NLM commissioned Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James, a member of the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Indian Nation, located in Bellingham, Washington, to carve a healing totem, which was transported on a truck across the United States, stopping for tribal blessings on reservations in 13 states. Its permanent home is now at the NLM. The totem was a dramatic focal point of the exhibition, Native Voices: Native People’s Concepts of Health and Illness, which opened to the public October 6, 2011, and will be traveling to each region of the NN/LM beginning in December.
Many people look forward to having their own biological children at some point in their lives. However, many find that is not possible for various reasons. Adoption is another way to become a parent. It is also a way to gain a parent. For many adoptees, being welcomed into a loving family is also an event to be anticipated.
MedlinePlus offers a selection of authoritative resources on all things adoption whether it is financial and legal issues or searching for biological relatives. These resources will offer insight into the option of adoption for those considering or information for adopted families who have additional information needs just as many families do along the way.