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The best kept secret of every hospital in America

I want to chime in for just a second on health sciences libraries.  If you’re a nurse employed in an acute care setting, chances are, there’s one within steps of your daily work setting.  They’re often called a hospital’s ‘best kept secret.’  But they shouldn’t be!

Every nurse I talk to in this day and age is in a continuous quest for information.  Many are on Magnet journeys and are involved in research or quality projects in their organizations.  Some are in nursing school and are working on the Bachelors or Masters degrees, and need help with finding resources for a paper or a project.

And many are simply hungry for knowledge and skills that will advance their practice.   Are you one of those nurses? If so – there’s a place for you to go.  Your local health sciences library!  I asked my librarian friend, Michael Wold, to do a guest blog about health sciences libraries.  So here goes – see what Michael has to say about what your library – and librarian – can do for you!

Guest blog by Michael Wold, MLS, OSF St. Mary Medical Center, Galesburg, IL

You have searched and searched. You have found thousands of hits on Google. You are looking for relevant, evidence-based information on your topic. You found a couple of article citations, but gaining full access to these articles would cost $40 each! You’ve spent hours searching for information, and you’re about to give up.

Don’t give up!

If you’ve ever been in this position, or you find yourself there now, don’t fret.  There’s any easy remedy!  Whether you’re searching for information on patient care, research, treatment guidelines, or evidence-based practices, go to your hospital library, where you will find a professional librarian who can help you with your search. With access to various databases, and the skills to navigate through them, you’ll find that there’s plenty of relevant and useful information available to support you in your practice.

Medical libraries in hospitals are a great resource for you and all the staff. Your library is up to date with the latest online technology and the best databases. You’ll have access to thousands of online journals and books. Anything that isn’t available to you on-site can likely be accessed online or through an interlibrary loan.  You’ll have searching tools to access the literature. You can do the searching yourself, or you can ask the medical librarian for help.

If you can’t make the trip in person, many medical libraries have a page on the hospital shared drive, with bibliographies and links to medical information.  Some are even on Facebook and Twitter!  

Don’t let your medical library remain your hospital’s best kept secret!  Stop by today for help with your information needs, and spread the word to your colleagues!

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