As a bedside nurse, I spent many years working directly with patients. During that time, I was offered an opportunity to help implement a new Electronic Medical Record system at the hospital. In this role, my passion for the technological side of healthcare flourished. I saw how new technologies make our healthcare environment safer and more efficient. At the same time, I was frustrated by the gaps between existing technologies and the services that are actually necessary in the field . This motivated me to seek a role where I could bridge this gap, and implement changes that would better service the end user.
So, I started working at a health-tech startup- focused on creating an empathetic AI companion to care for the elderly . Developing such an impactful product inspired me to pursue my passion for technology, and continue my journey in the product world. That’s when I joined Azul Arc!
During the interview process, I remember being asked, “How will your nursing skills transfer to product management ?” I’ve quickly learned that although bedside nursing and product management are two seemingly unrelated fields, they share several key similarities. While I no longer take blood samples and connect IVs, I’m able to apply my nursing skills to product management in the following ways:
Garnering Technical Expertise
Both nurses and product managers require a thorough understanding of their respective fields, as well as the ability to apply that knowledge in real-world scenarios. For bedside nurses, this means a deep understanding of anatomy, physiology, and the latest medical treatments. For product managers, it means a thorough understanding of their product, the market it operates in, and the latest industry trends. Being able to quickly develop and master technical expertise throughout the project lifecycle has been crucial to the success of my projects and relationships with clients.
Another similarity between bedside nursing and product management is the need for strong communication skills. In both nursing and product management, effective communication is key to success. For bedside nurses, communication with providers, patients, and patient families is critical to delivering proper care and building trust. As a nurse you “Read Back and Verify” new orders from the physician. Similarly, product managers must communicate with a variety of stakeholders, including clients, developers, designers, and executives, to ensure the success of their product. They must understand the stakeholders’ product vision, as they serve as the liaison between them and the development team.
Time Management & Managing Care
If I had to describe a day in a nurse’s life it would be: phone constantly ringing, call light beeping with multiple requests, emergency in one room while another room may have a disoriented patient trying to escape…and you manage it all. While switching over to product management has been a much needed step back from that, it has its similarities. As a product manager, you constantly have to prioritize tasks, be prepared to drop everything to deal with unanticipated events , and most importantly, strive for service excellence, so everyone is informed about where they are in the product development cycle and receives high quality service/care.
Whether it’s a patient or a client. Whether it’s an illness or an app. My primary takeaway from my transition into product management is that understanding your clients and their needs is crucial to successful product development. My bedside experience has prepared me to ensure satisfaction and success by accompanying and informing my clients throughout the whole process and ensuring their satisfaction and success with the end result.
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