MakerNurse Bringing Innovation to the Bedside

Posted on December 9, 2016 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

How would health care change if we put innovation in the hands of the people who care for us every day?

Nurses are some of the greatest innovators out there. Every day they find ways to make the world a little better and more comfortable for their patients. So, why aren’t we more readily asking them to help build the solutions to problems they solve every day?

Image: Nurse holding a newborn baby
Source: Wikimedia

Have you heard of the MakerSpace movement? It’s a wonderful trend right now that is creating spaces where people can design, build, engineer,and educate, making the process of innovation more democratic along the way. MakerSpaces can be found schools, libraries, community centers, and even in some corporate spaces. They are often home to incredible resources like 3D printers, laser cutters, design software, and good old-fashioned hand tools and basic building materials. The idea behind them is to give people to tools and space to design and build all kinds of innovations.

So, what happens when you combine a MakerSpace with nurses already designing and building solutions? You get MakerNurse.

MakerNurse is the remarkable project working to introduce MakerSpaces into hospitals to give nurses a place to innovate and come up with solutions to problems they face every day.

To get us better acquainted with the incredible mission and vision of MakerNurse, here is MakerNurse co-founder, Anna Young from the TEDMED stage…

Via: TEDMED 1

So, what do the innovations coming out of the nation’s first MakerNurse space look like?

To give you a more well-rounded look at the potential and possibility out there with MakerNurse, I wanted to share with you the podcast that first introduced me to this project. It’s a brief interview with some of the great innovators behind MakerNurse and the nurses using their ideas in the real world.

*Note: Only the first nine minutes of the podcast are about the MakeNurse project, but if you have the time give the whole podcast a listen, it’s a great look into unconventional innovation happening in medicine.

The power of innovation never ceases to amaze me.

MakerNurse is representative of an incredible movement toward putting the tools of innovation in the hands of the end users. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars of research and development would have gone into the kinds of devices MakerNurse innovators have come up with? What creative solutions and people are we not hearing from out there?

Teachers, parents, therapists, even kids all find ways to readapt the tools they have in order to improve the quality of life for themselves or the people they help. These are the kinds of people we need filling our MakerSpaces and coming up with their own innovations.

I’m excited by a future that empowers anybody to be an innovator. Maybe we won’t all come up with the next life-saving device, but we can certainly all feel more empowered to leave a positive impact on this world.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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