The Pivotal Podcast

From Theatre to Healthcare: A Nurse's Journey into Data Analytics with George

July 18, 2023 Ben Season 1 Episode 4
From Theatre to Healthcare: A Nurse's Journey into Data Analytics with George
The Pivotal Podcast
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The Pivotal Podcast
From Theatre to Healthcare: A Nurse's Journey into Data Analytics with George
Jul 18, 2023 Season 1 Episode 4

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In this episode of The Pivotal Podcast, we talk to George Metropolis, a nurse who made the leap to data analytics. George shares his story of how he transitioned from a career in theater to a career in healthcare, and how he's using his data skills to make a positive impact on the healthcare industry.

George discusses the challenges and opportunities of working in data analytics, and how his background in nursing has given him a unique perspective on the healthcare data landscape. He also shares his advice for nurses who are interested in transitioning to a career in data analytics.

This episode is packed with insights and inspiration for anyone who is interested in learning more about the intersection of healthcare and data analytics.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the episode:

  • The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and data analytics is playing a increasingly important role in improving patient care.
  • Nurses have a unique skillset that is well-suited for data analytics, as they understand the clinical side of healthcare and the importance of data-driven decision-making.
  • The transition from nursing to data analytics can be challenging, but it is possible with the right skills and resources.
  • Data analytics can be a rewarding career for nurses who are looking to make a positive impact on the healthcare industry.

If you're interested in learning more about how to use data analytics to improve healthcare, then this episode is for you. Listen now!


Thank you for listening to this episode of The Pivotal Podcast. We hope you found it informative and engaging. If you enjoyed this episode, we would appreciate your support. Please consider leaving us a review, providing feedback, or sharing the podcast with others who might find it valuable.

To stay updated on future episodes, make sure to subscribe to The Pivotal Podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

For more resources, show notes, and additional content, visit our website at Follow us on social media for behind-the-scenes insights, announcements, and discussions.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to bringing you more exciting episodes in the future.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

In this episode of The Pivotal Podcast, we talk to George Metropolis, a nurse who made the leap to data analytics. George shares his story of how he transitioned from a career in theater to a career in healthcare, and how he's using his data skills to make a positive impact on the healthcare industry.

George discusses the challenges and opportunities of working in data analytics, and how his background in nursing has given him a unique perspective on the healthcare data landscape. He also shares his advice for nurses who are interested in transitioning to a career in data analytics.

This episode is packed with insights and inspiration for anyone who is interested in learning more about the intersection of healthcare and data analytics.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the episode:

  • The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving, and data analytics is playing a increasingly important role in improving patient care.
  • Nurses have a unique skillset that is well-suited for data analytics, as they understand the clinical side of healthcare and the importance of data-driven decision-making.
  • The transition from nursing to data analytics can be challenging, but it is possible with the right skills and resources.
  • Data analytics can be a rewarding career for nurses who are looking to make a positive impact on the healthcare industry.

If you're interested in learning more about how to use data analytics to improve healthcare, then this episode is for you. Listen now!


Thank you for listening to this episode of The Pivotal Podcast. We hope you found it informative and engaging. If you enjoyed this episode, we would appreciate your support. Please consider leaving us a review, providing feedback, or sharing the podcast with others who might find it valuable.

To stay updated on future episodes, make sure to subscribe to The Pivotal Podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

For more resources, show notes, and additional content, visit our website at Follow us on social media for behind-the-scenes insights, announcements, and discussions.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to bringing you more exciting episodes in the future.

 Welcome to the Pivotal Podcast where we unlock the future of healthcare technology and explore the journeys of those making waves in the industry. Join us as we explore the innovative minds, game- companies and inspiring journeys that are shaping the future of healthcare. Whether you are a tech enthusiast, a healthcare professional, or someone looking to make a career pivot, this is the podcast for.

I'm Ben Marley, your guide through this adventure that will inspire and empower you to forge your own path in this ever evolving field. And today my guest is George Metropolis. George, thank you so much for being here with me today. Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Ben. Yeah, man, every time I read that intro I'm like, I'm your name, your guide through this adventure and that's gonna be awesome cuz one day that's gonna come outta my mouth unintentionally.

It's phenomenal man. So yeah, right. Just like let's kick it off. Cool. So you've not always been involved in healthcare, right. And tell me, is your degree in theater? Is that what Yes. Don't you went to school for Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I have not always been in healthcare, not always been in data for sure. So yeah, I went to the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, and got a degree in theater.

It'd been like my whole life I'd done theater. And so it was kind of like one of those things where, you know, you're 18 getting into college and you're like, I don't know. Like, what can I do where I can just like lie to people all the time? It's like that's, that was the thing. Yes. Yeah, yeah, exactly. What am I, what am I good at and what are my friends doing, basically?

Cool. So got into theater and yeah, I ended up getting a degree there. And and then after college I got married like two years after graduating, and was working, you know, just coffee shop, barista and hotel, you know Busboy and all these little small jobs. And I was like, I need something.

I need something stable. So so got a career coach at that point through some family, friends and and took some different personality tests, some career, you know you know, alignment tests and found the nursing was a good option. Cuz I really wanted something that I could care about people, you know, felt like I was making a positive impact on the world and also something that was, you know, financially stable.

And so nursing kind of hit all those, all those targets and went to M U S C, the Medical University of South Carolina for my nursing degree. And and. Got into it. Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. So a couple of questions about that. So you mentioned this just briefly earlier, that it was one of the assessments you took was Youth Science.

Right. And yes, that's, that's an assessment that I've used with high school students in the past going to college. And it's really geared towards that. Right. And I've used it in a couple of instances doing career consulting with. Adults with professionals as well. So having been out of college already for a couple of years, when you took this how did you feel about your results?

Did you feel like they were applicable and they were encouraging there? Yeah. Yeah, I think so. You know, I think being, you know, a little older, being like 23, 24, when I took the test it, I had a little more life experience and a little bit more time to get to know myself. So I think that was helpful.

So I think that taking it, you know, when you're. In high school, middle school even, and then, you know, in the twenties, thirties, I feel like it's, you know, applicable at every age, every stage of life. It can tell you a little bit something. But I really liked that test. Yeah. It was cool. Yeah. So that's, and you know, maybe part of it was like your willingness to go back to school to make a change and, and also it might have been because it was just a couple of years after graduating from college, right?

Because Sure. Like I took it in my, probably mid thirties. I had another friend take it in that same sort of timeframe and then had another professional I was working with take it and she was like maybe 40 or early forties. 

All right, so, and I don't even mind saying this on the show. I don't know what's going on. Like someone or something doesn't want me to have a podcast or something, cuz literally yesterday at the same time, I was recording an episode, recording interview and internet just stopped. Right. And like I just restarted my computer and it came back and it was fine.

It's like, oh, it's 1245, I'm gonna go to lunch. I don't know what. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So weird. Yeah. So anyway I think I was in the middle of talking about what I've seen in terms of professionals taking youth science. And what's interesting is I think it might have been a really good fit. For you being a couple of years outta school and being open to going back to school.

Right. But what I experienced and what my friend experienced and what this other interestingly enough healthcare professional former speech pathologist seemed to experience was we see these results and. It's almost like we, we felt a little bit of like grief or grieving over like what might have been, because for example, like some of my results were like, oh, you should be an ob gyn or a psychiatrist.

And I'm like, Hey, I have a degree in economics. I'm not like going back and finishing out the core requirements and then going to med school. Cause I've also got kids, you know, and like a wife that I'm supporting and everything and full-time mom and whatnot. Yeah. So it's like, it just wasn't feasible. So, I don't know.

It's really interesting. Kind of depending on like where you're at and what your willingness is for your next steps. Yeah. How you kind of see those results. I think it's great for, you know, college students or high school students or people maybe right outta college that are open to going back for some more education.

I think it should be mandatory for everybody in high school just cuz it provides a lot of insight. Yes. But, but I'm still kind of like The jury's still out on like, what's a good assessment for adults right now? Mm-hmm. You know? Right, right, right. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. And I, I mean, I'm no stranger to that, like, you know, the pit in your stomach and you're like, oh, man, that, that might be what I was you know, intended to do.

Yeah. Yeah. It's real. Yeah. Yep. I think it's, it's it, I heard something about you know, some statistic that somebody was like, you know, 50 years ago, you got into a, a career and you stayed in that career for your whole life, you know, for 40 years and retired outta that career. Now it's like people have like five to seven different careers throughout their life, you know, something wild, you know?

So it's just, it's just such a different time too. Yeah. Yeah, and I think reinventing yourself is kinda a can, can be an exciting process. It's been an exciting for me, you know, having, you know, a theater background and then getting into nursing for, you know, a career six years and then. Now transitioning into this different career with data analytics is, it's exciting.

Yeah, absolutely. So how long did it take you to get your nursing degree and was that timeline shortened at all by already having a bachelor's degree? Yeah. Yeah, so it was shortened. So I had my bachelor's degree in theater and the program I did was a bachelor's in nursing program, which isn't required.

To be a nurse. You can get a, you know, a licensed practical nurse, an lpn, or a Associate's degree in Nursing. And that will give you your registered nurse license. But I had going for the bachelor's degree and it was a four semester, 16 month program accelerated program. So pretty intense.

You know, my wife supported us and then loans supported us for that time. But it was, I did have the advantage of it being shortened by having those credits from my first degree. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that's phenomenal. I mean, 16 months listening, a year and a half, like, that's, that's pretty amazing, right?

Right. Yes. Yeah, that's great. Yeah, I think about, you know, the, the increase in your, in your salary for just a short, a short amount of time and you know, taking out loans. But in the long run, It's definitely, definitely worth it. Yeah, absolutely. And so what kind of nursing did you get involved in? So right off the bat, I kind of got really excited about psychology and psychiatry right at the end of my nursing program.

So I went, you know, head first into inpatient psychiatric facility and worked with all sorts of. Demographics and all sorts of ages. You know disease presentations, you knows, all that kind of stuff. Emergency room and children, adults, all, all that. So I was really passionate about seeing, you know, how people really heal and how we as a society interact with people who are the most vulnerable, you know, and, and people who are, who are the most vulnerable, you know?

When you're in the hospital, it's it's not your best day for sure. It's probably your worst day in a long time. And so especially with mental, mental illness, it's really not given a lot of the, the The room that some other countries give it, you know, the importance is not really placed on it as much as a lot of other countries.

And so I was really passionate about it just from seeing people that I loved who you know, was struggling with different mental illnesses. And I was like, really? How do we, how do we heal from some of these things, you know? So that, that's, that's kind of how I got into it. And was there for four years at an inpatient psychiatric hospital.

Okay. And then and then transitioned into a mental health clinic where we treated depression with brain stimulation. Wow. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it was and that was, you know, sort of same vein, but a different kind of Patient experience being an outpatient clinic and that kind of thing.

Yeah. Yeah. So I stayed there for another year and a half, so about a total of five and a half years. Okay. In mental health nursing. Yeah. So with that, I bet you saw a really interesting mix of like very like impactful and encouraging things in, in ways you were able to make a difference, right. In the patient experience and their healing.

Mm-hmm. But also probably a lot of things that were pretty challenging. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. You know I'm, I'm pretty introverted, so you know, that was kind of a struggle. It was, it was really stretched me in a lot of ways. Being there and being kind of the, you know, as a nurse, you're sort of the point person for a lot of things.

Whether that's explicit or not, it just kind of turns out that way just because you were with, you know, your patient all day and you end up being just there. You know, they're advocate and their, you know, caretaker and sort of a a linchpin on their team, you know, communicating with different, different members of the team.

Yeah, yeah, I was definitely wondering like what that looks like when and when it comes to nursing, because, you know, I think about, you know, counselors or psychiatrists and kind of like, I understand their roles, but I hadn't really thought about, oh, what does mental health nursing look like? Like practically, Yeah, yeah, yeah.

You know, it, it looks a lot like med-surg nursing or medical nursing. From what I can tell, from what I've seen in, in the different ways that patients interact with their nurses I, I would say it's there's a little more Relational interaction with mental health nurses and their patients.

You know, you're, you're not necessarily taking care of people who need, you know, fluids and surgeries and, you know medications to keep them alive. You're dealing with helping people kind of get their mental health back under control, at least in the acute care setting. And and then in an outpatient setting, it's You know, how to improve their quality of life.

You know, yeah. I guess I don't really know how to, how to say that, that part, but Yeah. It's unique. It's unique from medical nursing. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. So, and that's obviously that's not what you now, right? So now you are a clinical quality and safety data analyst. Right. And before I get into, Like the specifics of, of what that means and what that entails on a daily basis.

What what motivated you to make that sort of transition? Yeah, yeah. Great question. So I had always been you know, kind of interested in data in technology. Even as a nurse, I was, I was I was like, how can we, you know, improve this from You know, from a, a larger scale, you know, cause we could see individual issues and, but how do things actually change?

So sort of like, sort of like my inspiration to get into mental health nursing was how do people on a, on a large scale heal? You know, what are these things that really, that society is doing and that medicine's doing to bring about healing? On a large scale I guess data, data just always stuck out to me as like, that's, that's how you figure it out.

Like you, you, we have this really great opportunity nowadays to to have exposure to a lot of research and a lot of ongoing data collection. And so it, it, it sort of stuck out to me as a, as a. Positive field in that way. I had some family members who were in the data science field in other industries, you know, financial or business.

And so looking at, at talking to, to them about the work that they were doing sort of was my first exposure to, oh, there's like, actually people who do this for a, for a job. There's actually people who, who can You know, go in and really make change through through discovering the data, abstracting it, and presenting it to the people who make decisions sort about it.

So I kinda see it as, you know in hospitals, you know, a data analyst, data scientist has has a lot of responsibility in that they're, they're sort of presenting to these major decision makers. And then you know, I'm excited to see it in politics and society to see decision makers making decisions based on data, you know of what will be best for our communities.

Yeah, absolutely. So is that something like you saw a job posting or something, you're like, okay, I'm just gonna dive right into this? Or did you do like some digging kind of on your own to get a better feel for like, okay, how much do I really like this? I think I like this, but, you know, was there something you did to sort of like, feel it out a little more thoroughly before making a full career transition?

Yeah, yeah, totally. So so I. I love researching things. So I research, you know, data analytics, you know, just Google it and sort of just follow the, the trail that that takes you down. You know, that the Google takes you down and it turned out data. Google had a data analytics certification, or they still have it.

And they have, I think, multiple tiers. They have like intro and then advance and maybe even beyond that, but they have these certifications for like, You know, probably anything that you would want to do, you could probably find it on there. And so they'll give you like a free trial for like a week and then like, it's like very affordable after that.

It's like maybe 50 bucks a month to do these certification programs. And it's kind of a self-paced thing. So I was just like, easy peasy, you know, I can, I can do this thing. And very affordable to learn you know, if this is something that I. Have any interest in, or if I'm just like, that's just like, I don't even want anything to do with that, you know, it's boring, it's whatever.

Then then I'll know, then I'll know. So I started that program and and pretty quickly was like, this is cool. This is pretty, this is pretty neat. Yeah. I liked the, like the things I said, I liked the idea of being able to share with stakeholders and decision makers of an organization. What is working best and what will serve their patients or their customers the most.

So the Google, the Google Data analytics certification was the first kind of step in. How long did it take you to get that? So it's started it in December and it took me about six months. Okay. Yeah, so I just finished it in May. Hey, congratulations. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. And how much time and over the six months, like how much time were you putting in, say, on like a weekly basis?

It was probably like, you know after work and on weekends, like 10 hours a week. Oh, okay. Or so. Yeah. Yeah. So not insignificant, but doable. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And if you're interested in it, you know, the time is, times go by, goes by pretty quickly. Sure. And, you know, not that people should do this, but if you have the opportunity to do some at work, then that's, that also is helpful.

Sure. If you have some quiet time or something like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So, okay. Is that the only thing that you pursued, like outside of work? I mean, obviously like it's a lot, right? If you're like 240, 2 50 hours, something like that is what it seems like. Yeah, yeah. You know, I think that's the main certification.

Yeah. Mm-hmm. And then it was just kinda reading articles and Just to hear from different people in the field about what is involved in data analytics, what's the future of it? Is it something that nurses can get into? Is it worth it for me as a, as a nurse with a nursing degree to, to to sort of pivot into this different field?

Yeah. You mean like compensation wise? Is it gonna be worth it? That Yeah. Yeah. And then job prospects going forward, you know There's a lot, been a lot of talk about, you know, advancing technology and advancing AI and things like that. And is it gonna be an actual you know yeah, just viable career in the next few years.

Yeah. Yeah. So just, just kind of, you know parceling those. Those different things out. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I ultimately was like, yeah, I think it will be. Yeah. I think it will be. Yeah. Yeah. And, and obviously you don't need to get into like specific numbers or anything, but did you find pretty comparable income opportunity?

Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. And my, my position it was one that, it was pretty unique, so I felt very fortunate to find it. But it was, it required you to have a nursing degree actually. Oh, wow. And some experience doing data or just some, you know, proficiencies in different areas. And so there's a lot, I think there's a lot of those jobs that are probably gonna come up of hospitals that want to see you know, nurses or people with a clinical background who are able to able to look at patient records and different things like that, you know lab results.

And look at it with that clinical eye. Rather than strictly a data analyst eye. Sure, yeah. Yeah. There are things that, there's experiential knowledge that you'll have other than, rather than just maybe theoretical knowledge or head knowledge or something, right? It's like, oh, well, based on what I've seen working directly with patients, I can better understand what I'm looking at through the data here.

Yes, yes. Okay. Absolutely. Yeah. And on our team, we have you know, we have, we have some people are clinical, probably have, half of us on our data analysts are, you know, former nurses. And then half of us are strictly, you know, data analysts, data scientists. And so it's, it's a cool you know, blend of the two worlds.

Yeah. So I think there's, I think there's opportunity for anybody. Yeah. That's phenomenal. And so I was just speaking with another friend yesterday here on the podcast actually, and he was saying, and he came from like a different background, like more of the analytics background, not the clinical background.

Mm-hmm. And he was thinking that even for nurses making the transition That may be a good thing to learn would be spreadsheets and then pivot tables and pivot charts, and then tools like power BI or Tableau, mm-hmm. And then getting into sql. Right. Have you, did you. What do you feel about that?

Like was it kind of a similar learning sequence there with like the Google certification or, and is that all useful or what's your experience been like? Yeah. Yeah. So I had the same advice actually from a family member was, you know increase your proficiency with Excel in particular. And it's kind of funny, you know, Excel's been around for like, I don't know how long, 30 years or more.

And it's like still just like. It's still just killing it, you know, as like the standard, you know, everybody uses Excel. So I would definitely say you know, getting proficient with Excel or just more familiar with Excel of like, you know, practice writing, you know, equations out, go on Google or on YouTube.

There's like just hundreds of videos of people who are showing you shortcuts and showing you, you know, little tutorials. I think Excel has a tutorial that's free, you know? Mm-hmm. As long as you have the software, which most hospitals do. So I would definitely start there. Yeah. Speaking for myself in my, in my, you know, new data analyst role, I use Excel definitely the most.

Yeah. Of any of those technologies. Wait, so I have to ask this. I have to ask, sorry to interrupt you, but so Excel, over Google Sheets, it's not just spreadsheets, it's specifically Excel. That's, that's my understanding, yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I, I never used it in work. I never used Google Sheets at work.

Yeah. So let me ask this. As part of your Google certification, did they take you through Excel or Google Sheets, or Not spreadsheets at all. Okay. Yeah, that's a good point. So they take you through Google Sheets and they will tell you the what to do in Excel, but the. I guess the standard is Google Sheets, you know naturally for them, obviously that's what they're promoting.

Right, right, right, right, right. Of course. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And it's, it's not a, it's not a huge jump between Excel and Google Sheets, thankfully. But yeah, that's the one thing I guess as far as that Google Analytics program, I think the benefit with the Google Analytics certification is it's, it's kind of a, once you're finished with it, it's a piece of paper that you can be like, I, I'm, look, this is how passionate I am about, About this, you know, I'm willing to put in 10 hours a week for six months to to learn more about this.

And maybe I'm not, you know, as proficient as somebody else, but I have the willingness and the ability to learn as this piece of paper from Google tells you, you know? Yeah. And it does expose you to cool stuff like SQL a little bit and Tableau a little bit are those different kinda coding languages.

Just a, just a little Taste of each, but, and do you actually get to use like real data sets or even mock data sets and, and do some data modeling on some different projects and things you do. You can say, Hey, here's a project that I actually did, and the, you know, kind of conclusions. You do? Yeah.

Yeah. So there are some data sets that are available. I think they're public data sets that you, when you go into r I believe it is that that are just kind of uploaded. Somebody uploaded 'em however long ago and I can't remember the specifics of them. But yes. Yeah. The, the last part of it is to do a a case study.

Mm-hmm. So you kinda get to have this thing where you're like, I did this, you know, I found this data set online and you know, uploaded it here and here's my graph and here's my spreadsheet. And so. Cool. That's awesome. Yeah. And as you were talking about different tutorials for writing formulas for like macros, I'm assuming you could probably even have conversations with chat g PT about either, you know, hey, write this macro, or can you walk me through the steps of understanding how to write these macros as well?

Have you messed with that at all? I have not actually. I've heard you could, you can ask chat g PT to code for you, but I have not I have not coded with it. No. Yeah. I've used it for other stuff just for like, you know, fun but no coding. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Interesting. Very cool. So it, how, and okay, remind me now, I don't think we've talked about it yet.

How long have you been in this role of clinical quality and safety data analyst? You know, not very long. I think it's March of 2023. Okay. When I transitioned into this new role. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. So It's been an interesting, interesting tradition, you know, sort of being fresh from nursing and getting into this new role.

It's, I I feel like I get a little peek behind the scenes a little bit as to how decisions are, are made to a greater degree. And it's it's exciting. I think I'm encouraged about the future for sure. Cool. As far as data goes and you know, improve patient outcomes through data. Sure.

That's awesome. Now, When you were applying for this role and interviewing for it was much of the conversation focused around that Google certification that you were pursuing? That definitely helped. Like I said, I think it helped to show that, cause I wasn't done was it at that point. But I was able to show like I'm, this is how committed I am to learning and growing and I'm able to learn I think is a big thing.

And you know, even Excel. I hadn't done a lot with Excel prior to getting interested in data. And so doing those tutorials, I think Udemy or Coursera has some courses on there for, I think it was like 10 bucks that I, I paid to get a little more in depth tutorial about Excel. So doing some of those things I think definitely helped that the With the interview and sort of setting yourself apart from, you know you know, 10 other nurses who are also applying for the job?

Yeah. Yeah, because not everybody's gonna do that. So I think everything that I could do to set myself apart and show that I had an interest in this field, and a desire and a willingness to learn was really It was really helpful for me. Yeah. Yeah, that sounds great. And I think that any nurses listening will likely find that pretty encouraging too, because it still seems like a fairly low barrier to entry, like a, a pretty achievable thing that you can do to, like you're saying, set yourself apart from other people who are just saying, you know what?

This looks interesting. I'm a nurse. I'm going to apply. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. You know, and there's been a talk about. You know, with advances in AI and technology that a lot of jobs will be lost. But I, I think with one, with nursing I think we're gonna need daris a lot longer than, you know, a lot of other jobs.

Then also with this data, you know I think advances in technology and in data science and in ai. Will give us a lot more data to work with. Mm-hmm. And so I think there's, there's a lot of opportunities for nurses in particular to to learn how to interact with that data. And we're gonna need people who can, you know, extract it from patient records and people who can manage, you know, those those clinical records and manage a team.

And so I think I think nurses are pretty well, well Prepared to enter into those roles with just a small, honestly, a small small degree of pivoting a little bit in there. Understanding of data science. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. My other friend who doesn't have the clinical background said that having that like getting that clinical background would be a much larger barrier to entry than getting like the technology and data side of things.

Like, that's much more attainable really. So the nurses are really well positioned, like you're saying to do that? Yeah. So. As a clinical quality and safety data analyst, like what does that actually mean? What do you actually do now? So I, so my particular role is to so with our hospital, there are certain surgeries that are done you know, year-round.

They're all, you know, always doing these surgeries. And we have some different So like two different surgeries that I'm responsible for. But on our team we have many people who are responsible for different procedures, surgeries. So what I and my fellow data analysts do is go into these patient records and enter the different surgical information, demographic information lab values, anything you might might think of that's pertinent to their health.

Into a database. And that database then you know, tells us how we're doing as far as the hospital compared to other hospitals in the nation and shows us areas that we can try to improve. It also tells us, you know how sick are the patients that we're treating compared to, you know, patients somewhere else, you know, in California or something like that.

You know? We know there's a lot more you know, There's a lot of different health disparities and especially in the Southeast compared to you know, yeah, the Northwest, for example. So we are looking to improve our quality improve the quality of the surgeries that we do, the care that we give.

And so and so we're collecting this data and having meetings monthly. Many meetings, you know, every month to keep track of our data and show areas that we can improve. And you know, from surgery standpoint, from a how long are the patients in the hospital standpoint, you know, how long are they on the ventilator, et cetera.

Trying to keep, keep up with standards of care nationwide. Yeah. And so this data is collected after the surgery or is it some during, cause you mentioned like lab values and things, or are you trying to monitor the safety of like someone going into a surgery or, or after the operation? So these are typically we're going in after the surgery typically like 30 days after they're discharged.

Because that is one of the metrics that we look at as well, is how many of our patients are getting readmitted to the hospital. And then we look, thankfully, you know, for my job it's usually none. Maybe, you know, one or two out of, you know, 30 or 40 patients per month which is pretty good. And so Typically it's after the surgery, we go back in and we say, you know, what were the, you know, labs for this patient?

What were the risk factors going into the surgery? How sick were they? All these kinds of things. And then looking at how we're doing and being like, okay, so how can we improve in this area, this area, and this area? And so there's some national databases that are around that have monitored these things for like, 40 plus years.

And it's just like massive databases. So it's, it's a very very thorough system. And just very thankful for it. It's that kinda stuff that I'm, I'm excited about that, you know, we get to contribute to this, this ongoing and huge project that really can help a lot of patients. Yeah. That's amazing.

So, let me see if I'm picturing this correctly, but it sounds like you're able to. Look at the results that all these different hospitals around the country are achieving, right? And you can look at the ones that they're having some of the best success, right? Like the best health, health outcomes, lowest readmission numbers.

And then when you normalize for all of these different variables that would, you know, obviously caused the diff some of the differences that exist, right? Like the underlying conditions and whatnot. Figure out, okay, what are these hospitals doing differently that's improving their outcomes? And then how can we actually apply their procedures into what we are doing to improve our own outcomes?

Is that, is that right? Well, I don't know if we can see exactly what they're doing differently. Hmm. But I think that's where something like like a, a consultant might be able to go in and, you know, say, you know, I worked with hospital over here. And and they're doing this, you know, or this is the standard of care across, you know across the country.

You know you can, I believe that it's all publicly reported. So you can, I believe, see how different hospitals are doing with different surgeries, different metrics, stuff like that. And so we specifically see on our, you know, end what the nationwide Standard is, and so we're kinda going by that.

Yeah. How are we doing South Carolina versus like the nation and healthcare? Oh, well I dunno about healthcare in general, but I think we're doing pretty good. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it's, I think it's, you know, there's always room to grow, but it's that's part of it. Like jobs will be here because there's always room to grow.

And so it's exciting to be on the team that's getting to, you know, sort of spearhead that that change. You know, in healthcare there's, and especially as a nurse, we're dealing with people in the hospital who, who are so sick, you know, and you're basically just trying to get them stable and get them home.

And then hopefully there's things that That, you know, changes they can make and outpatient services that they can get to improve their quality of life. But you don't, you know, as a nurse you don't really get to see the improvement that much. So it's, it's neat to be in a role now where I really do see how changes are made and you get to see sort of real in almost real time, you know, within a year probably you get to see.

You know, we did this and you know, our numbers went up here a little bit, you know, 1% point or something like that. 1% a year is, and eventually you're gonna have pretty significant changes. We try to get more than 1%, but Sure. But just for example. Yeah. Yeah. No, absolutely. That's amazing. Is there anything specific that you're, and I know that it, it, does it kind of feel like drinking from a fire hose right now?

Like being three months in? Is there just like so much that you're learning all the time? Oh, yeah. Oh yeah. All the time. All the time. So much. Yeah. But thankfully I have a, a great team and a great manager and great doctors that I work with. Very supportive. So I think that that's, that's huge.

Yeah. Mm. Yeah. And, and is your, is your role remote or in person or hybrid? It's hybrid. Mm-hmm. Okay. Mm-hmm. Yep. Yep, yep. And I feel like, so that's awesome to have the flexibility, but that anytime we're starting something new, like you mentioned, this team, having the opportunity to be in person around them is probably really helpful.

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Being able to, you know, Knock on your manager's door, you know, or ask a coworker who's sitting near you you know, what's, you know, what's my problem here? You know that, that is, that is really nice. It's also, it's, I don't, you know, the, sometimes you get people faster online though too, you know, interesting.

Through, through Microsoft Teams or Zoom or, you know, just emailing somebody. You know, I feel like people are so busy now that being able to just ask a question over a text. And and get a, you know, a quick answer is, is very helpful too. Yeah. So it's been, it's been interesting being being remote.

Yeah. This is my first remote job and I love it. I love it. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. I was just gonna ask, I mean, now that you know, you're a few months in how do you feel about your decision to, to make the jump? I feel great. Yeah? Yeah. I feel really good. There is a part that's like. You know, you don't get that satisfaction of, of seeing a patient face-to-face and being able to help them with something and kind of see them from when they come in to when they leave.

But it's it's different. It's just different. Yeah. Yeah. What's been one of the, oh, go ahead. Well, I was gonna say, I, I, I feel the. You know, I feel that I am helping my patients still. And it's just a different way of helping. Yeah. Yeah. What's been one of the, like, the biggest like positive surprises about the role?

Hmm. I think, I think how much how big the team is. You know, I didn't realize that this much Was devoted to understanding our data that so much manpower was devoted to understanding our data and also how much doctors and, you know CEOs and stakeholders in organizations, they really at least in our organization, we really value it and they really look to data to make, make decisions that will affect the hospital, which I think is how it should be done, you know?

I'm not sure exactly how it was done, like, you know, 50 years ago when they didn't have so much data, but but it seems like a much more cost effective and and just impactful way to make decisions. So that, yeah, I was surprised at how much our, our leaders really value the data. Did you find yourself spending much time entering information into like the E H R when you were doing the psychiatric nursing?

Yeah, yeah. You know, you'd with psychiatric, there's not as many like, lab values and things like that, but and your, I guess psychiatric is a little more difficult in those ways as far as data goes, cuz a lot of it is you know, qualitative data, you know, describing behaviors and you know, what somebody said.

But they looked like, you know whereas, you know, the medical side of nursing, it's more, you know, their sodium was this and their, you know white blood cells was this and this and this, and they have a history of this. And so it's a little more cut and dry with the medical side. Mm-hmm. So I could see psychiatric being, it just, just a lot of Area for, you know, experimentation and opportunity for trying to figure out which data sets will be served, will serve psychiatric community the most.

Yeah. Yeah. I guess that question just kind of stemmed from, my impression has been that all of the time inputting data into the electronic health record can be a real pain point for, for nurses, and I just wasn't sure if maybe now that you're experiencing it from this side of things where you see the value that and the real weight that's being put on this data in this.

Data driven decision making if that had shifted your perspective at all as to, okay, well, you know what? Maybe that time that, that pain, that frustration was worth it, because I'm seeing how like those 1%, 2%, whatever changes are being made based on, you know, that work. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Absolutely. Yeah. You know, and you think about you know, one little implementation of a new lab value or, you know recording something recording something in a patient's record explicitly, you know, and that's part of what our team is doing is trying to figure out how we can make data collection on the, you know, front end.

So where the doctors are putting it in, the nurses are putting it in, how we can make that more streamlined and You know, less, do less charting from our providers, you know and also ha get more information that we need. Just kind of figuring out what are those really key pieces of information that are gonna affect patient outcomes and and how can we build systems that that serve our providers and our nurses in in their every day, you know, when they're busy with a million things to do.

How can we create something that they can quickly plug this, this, this, this in and give us what we need so we can continue to improve outcomes. Yeah, absolutely. And man, that's, that's what it's all about, right? Just continued progress, improved health improve, absolutely. Yeah, just improve life outcomes. Cause it's, it's so critical to, to every single person, right?

Oh yeah. Absolutely. So, and I know we're coming to the end of our time right now, but do you have any like, You've shared a lot of really, really helpful insight. I, I was really excited to talk to you today just because of how recently you've made this transition and you've really like gone through it.

Right. But is there, is there any, are there any final thoughts you'd love to, to leave us with for, say, maybe a nurse or another healthcare practitioner or provider that's considering making a similar change into maybe the world of healthcare technology? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, I feel like I'm, yeah.

Being so fresh in it and just being kind of, just out of that, out of that process for myself yeah, I'm glad to, I think that you know, it's, it's hard when you're a nurse to sort of think about what else you want to do when you're in the midst of a stressful work environment, you know, or taking care of patients.

You're not really thinking about yourself necessarily. But I would just kinda. You know, do some you know, personality assessment go buy a a a u science or something like that. Or even just online. There's free, you know, templates of like figure out which, if you're interested in something you know, list out what you're interested in.

Or if you don't have time for that, just like go on Google the certifications and try one of their courses for like seven days for free and see if any part of it is like, Kind of cool to you. Yeah. And it's kind of cool and just follow that, follow that trail. And and it might lead to something that's, that's a pretty neat new career for you or a supplemental career or something like that.

And might be something that you could pivot into even from your current position. Because I think that for all that's being said of job loss because of. Ai I think there's, there's gonna be a lot of jobs that are created, and especially in healthcare. Especially with data. So I would, I would encourage everybody to do that.

Do to try that Google analytics certification, is that what it's called? It's a Google Analytics certification. Yeah. I think it's a Google data analytics certification. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. And you can try it free and and just see how you like it. Yeah. That's awesome. I would also recommend going online to O net online, and then you can look at job forecast, job outlook, right?

If there's an increased demand predicted cause obviously we wanna get into jobs where there's gonna be more demand in the future. And I don't know, with all the recent developments like. Like you're mentioning, you know, with AI and chat G B T and those things, how that might be impacting forecasted demand, right?

Sure. But you can also see like average salary and salary around the country, you know, by specific geographic locations. There's a lot of really helpful things. So you can make an informed decision about, oh, you know what, this will provide me comparable income and there will be demand for this. You get some reassurance that way too.

For sure. And you know, honestly, like Chat G P T can be a pretty good resource. Even in this. You can ask it questions like, Hey, this is my background, these are my interests. What careers fit that? And then based on your. Assistance chat, G P t. Yeah. How, how are these, how's the forecast looking now? You know?

Totally, totally. Yes. Yes. Using, using with the Yeah. The technology that we have, it's, it's pretty awesome what we have these days. Yeah, absolutely. Well, George, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences and your insights and this advice with us today. Your, your journey, you know, and, and really the courage it takes to make that leap to even start exploring that.

Cause I work with people that do this and I know how intimidating it can be to, to think like, what can my background even be relevant to? Like where can I even go from this? Especially when it comes to healthcare, cuz it seems so specific, right? It's like, From what I hear from people time and time again is how am I gonna even figure out where I can use my education and earn a similar income and still help people but maybe not in the exact same capacity that I'm currently involved in.

Right. So yeah. Yeah. So it, it's really inspiring to hear a success story, right. And then to get some insight into like how it feels and, and how you've gone about doing it. So I really appreciate that. I think a lot of people are gonna find this very encouraging. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me on, Ben.

It's been so fun. Yeah, absolutely. And to our listeners, we hope you enjoyed today's dive into the field of healthcare technology, and I'll leave you with this thought. The fusion of healthcare and technology holds endless opportunities. So stay inspired, stay connected, and meet us here next time on the Pivotal podcast.

George Metropolis' Unique Journey into Nursing and His Perspective on Career Transitions
The Journey into Mental Health Nursing: Insights and Challenges
Transition to Data Analysis: The Role of Certifications and Self-Learning
Exploring Career Prospects: Is Data Analytics Viable for Healthcare Professionals?
Learning and Implementing Data Analytics Skills: Excel, SQL, Tableau and More
Advantages of Nurses in the Field of Data Analytics
Roles and Responsibilities as a Clinical Quality and Safety Data Analyst
Remote Work Experience in Clinical Data Analysis
Leveraging Healthcare Experience in Data Analytics - Tips and Final Remarks