A Slyly Witty Essay on an Apparently Aphasic Patient, Plus a Plug for Submissions

August 13, 2012

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

I edit many types of articles, but one certainty each month is that I’ll be editing our Reflections essay. This month’s is by Kathryn Mason, MSN, RN, PCCN, formerly a clinical educator and now a QM/PI project manager at the same hospital. Called “A Man of Few Words,” the essay is about that patient who is hard to connect with because she or he can’t (or won’t) speak. The piece has a surprising ending. Here’s an excerpt from the opening paragraphs, but please click the title above and read the whole short essay.

The nursing care plan called for dressing changes to the foot four to five times per week. I made at least three of those visits each week and my routine with Willy became fairly rote. He sat in the same chair each time, with his foot propped on an ottoman; I was positioned in front of the foot, my back to his decrepit television. I would chatter away to compensate for his lack of dialogue, regaling him with stories of my children, the weather, or whatever other bits of news came to mind. Sometimes he would give me his rapt attention and at other times he would be more intent on the news or a game show. (To read more, click here.)

To submit an essay for consideration, please take two minutes to read the Reflections guidelines, a short Word file that describes what we are looking for and not looking for in terms of style and content, the word limit (about 850), who can write a Reflections (essentially anyone, though many are by nurses), and where to go online to submit a manuscript. There are also links to several recent essays, so you can get an idea of what might interest us. Please feel free to contact either myself or the column coordinator, Madeleine Mysko, if you have any questions. Our contact emails are in the guidelines.

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