Angelina, Florence, End-of-Life Care, Nursing History, Postpartum Depression: A Web Roundup

May 14, 2013

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

In the news today we have an op-ed piece in the New York Times by Angelina Jolie about her rationale for getting a double mastectomy. There are sure to be many reactions to this disclosure, with many offering praise for her frankness about her decision. There may also be some who disagree with her decision to take this preventive step because she has the BRCA1 gene, which sharply increases her risk of getting breast cancer. Jolie’s perspective seems to be one of empowerment for women rather than a sense of helplessness or sorrow. Though Jolie’s circumstances are hardly universal in terms of the cushion provided by her great wealth, it’s hard not to admire the strength it takes to see things in such a positive light: “Life comes with many challenges,” she writes. “The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

MarchCoverIt’s come to our attention that, in honor of Nurses Week, the American Antiquarian Society blog, PastIsPresent.org, put together an interesting collection of items related to nursing from its mid-19th century archives, leading their post with a mention of AJN‘s March cover, which featured a vintage illustration, “A Map of the Open Country of  Woman’s Heart.”

A recent post we ran about the fading away of certain nursing blogs gets a mention from PixelRN, who has written a post called “Why I Stopped Blogging.” Short answer, for her: she stopped working in nursing, and “life got difficult.” Understood. As always, we hope new voices will pick up where the early nurse blogging pioneers have left off.

At the INQRI blog, there’s a post about recent nurse-related research, including the finding that nurse home visits decrease postpartum depression. Yes, in a way this is obvious, in that we are well aware that a little attention from nurses could, in many instances, go a long way toward preventing more serious problems down the line. But it’s good to let it be known far and wide in this age of sequestration cuts and lean staffing.

And in the May issue of AJN, Joy Jacobson gives an in-depth look at the important and timely subject of end-of-life care, paying special attention to recent research, whether or not we are improving the quality of the dying experience or still focusing too much on aggressive treatment, and the important role played by nurses at this crucial time when families and patients need a truly understanding presence at the bedside: “Palliative and End-of-Life Care: Where Are We Now?”

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