As I entered Mr. Ricker’s room, I remembered that the night nurse had mentioned that his wife had been with him overnight. I knocked very lightly and opened the door a crack. The two of them were cuddled up closely in the bed.
“What One Thing Will Make Today Better for You?” That’s the title of the Reflections essay in the September issue of AJN, in case you thought a genie had materialized out of the steam from your afternoon coffee mug. A simple question, but one that author Susan Goff has used since the 1970s with her patients. Sometimes the answer is surprising—that is, sometimes we shouldn’t assume we know what patients want . . . or need. Sometimes, in the case of the patient she describes in this essay, there’s something that should trump NPO. We hope you’ll read the essay and let Susan know your thoughts in our comments section below.—JM, senior editor