1. What is your job title?
Human Factors Engineer/Consultant at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio.
2. Why did you go into Human Factors?
Let me first admit that I’d never heard of human factors until it was introduced to me by the Chair of the Human Factors Department in 1995. I always loved exploring human behavior and thought I was going to be a clinical psychologist. However, I also loved math, so he convinced me that I could meld my passion for understanding human behavior and my math skills to design cool things for people!
3. Why did you choose the healthcare route?
After years of supporting the Human Performance Wing of the Air Force, I shifted my focus to healthcare after spending an extended amount of time in multiple hospitals caring for a loved one. It was then I realized that using my human factors background and finding ways to make work easier and safer for healthcare staff was my new mission.
4. Why did you decide to be embedded as opposed to work in academia or industry?
I’ve always loved being on the frontline and making a difference. As an embedded human factors professional, I have the opportunity to go to the frontline everyday and directly learn and see the complexity of the healthcare environment.
5. What do you enjoy most about being an embedded HF practitioner?
Providing hope and creating non-traditional solutions! I find that in many units and departments I support, the staff have been heroically working with poor workflows, environments, etc...However, helping them discover new solutions to make their life easier always puts a smile on my face.
6. What is one piece of advice you would give up-and-coming HF professionals who want to be embedded in healthcare?
Stop, Look, and Listen! When you first come into healthcare you will be inundated by all the opportunities of things YOU want to support. It’s such a rich and complex environment that it’s like being a kid in a candy store. However, take the time to understand the needs and strategy of the institution, develop relationships with staff, and get to know the environment and the culture. Always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day!
7. What is the one piece of advice you would give to healthcare professionals to help those up-and-comers?
That they NEED you! Unfortunately, Human Factors does not have the crystal ball to fix all problems automatically, although I wished we did. In order to make change, collaboration is key. We need to have access to the people and the work to make a difference.
8. What is your dream superpower?
Invisibility... that way I could really observe how “Work is Done”!
9. If you had the entire world’s attention for 30 seconds, what would you say?
Be the LIGHT and SMILE! “The world always looks brighter from behind a smile”
10. Cake or Pie?
Not a fair question... Cookies