Thursday, April 2, 2009


Jeez! Has it really been more than a month since I've posted? (I must apologize to Lori who commented on my last post way back in Feb. but the comment got held up for moderation and I never got an email notifying me- I have now changed back to unmoderated commenting). I guess the reason for my lacklustre attendance on my own blog is that I have been very busy running the service, which is a good thing right? Right!

Since my last confession I have had my contract here renewed (mostly officially) for another three years. I am very excited to be able to stop trying to prove the service is worthwhile and begin providing it full time. Well, full seven hours anyway.

I have my time divided on a weekly basis now, between the teaching room and my "office", so that means I've got three point five hours to do everything administrative, and still provide support for anyone who walks in the door which happens more and more these days, and maintain the pamphlet collection which gets used quite a lot judging by the "missing teeth" I find every Thursday afternoon, and maintain the website which got over 1500 visitors since January. I am not in any way complaining! I love feeling needed.

Tuesday afternoons in the teaching room are great. I get to meet whichever resident is working that day (usually somewhere between three and six) and continue to form new working relationships with them. It's very useful for me to be behind the scenes.

Being there means being able to find teachable moments (rather than just provide information) although this is a skill which I will need to improve. On-the-fly teaching is different than presenting prepared subject matter. I also need to get over feeling weird about teaching doctors. It's one thing to show a surgeon how to use EndNote properly, quite another to step in and say to a GP, here's how you could be doing your job better in this particular area.

It also , and I'm sure I've said this before, allows me to get a much better sense of how the team actually works and what patients really need. It is as important for me to identify information needs of patients and make sure they are being met as it is for me to acknowledge those cases where information is not called for. I now have a real appreciation for how difficult it sometimes is for a GP to figure out what the patient is even there for (similar to conducting a reference interview when your patron doesn't know what their own question is). And we all do it don't we? We all find ourselves in bookstores and libraries and doctor's offices not really knowing what to ask or why we're there. By listening in I can sometimes identify certain needs that are not being recognised by either the GP or the patient.

So that's my little update. I will try to post a case soon...

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