The August issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.
Young adult burn survivors whose burns occurred before they reached young adulthood face particular socialization challenges. Social media is widely used by adolescents and young adults, allowing socialization without face-to-face communication. This qualitative, phenomenological study explores and describes young adult burn survivors’ experience of using social media. The findings, which indicate that social media use may support healing processes in this population, could help nurses develop effective interventions to better prepare young adult burn survivors for reentry into society.
The overall incidence of head and neck cancer has declined in the United States over the past 30 years due to reduction in tobacco use. Over that same period, however, the worldwide incidence of oropharyngeal cancer has escalated significantly, most notably among men and women under age 60 who live in developed countries. This epidemic rise in oropharyngeal cancer is largely attributed to certain genotypes of the human papillomavirus (HPV). This article provides an overview of head and neck cancer—its incidence, risk factors, treatment, and posttreatment sequelae—with a focus on HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer.
Cultivating Quality: “A Clinical Nurse Specialist–Directed Initiative to Reduce Postoperative Urinary Retention in Spinal Surgery Patients”
In this article, the authors detail a quality improvement project to raise nurses’ awareness of the potential for postoperative urinary retention on the postanesthesia care unit, and to develop an updated nursing practice algorithm for its evaluation and management.
Safety Monitor: “Health Care Worker Fatigue”
This article examines the safety implications of health care worker fatigue and offers strategies for reducing the incidence of fatigue-related errors and patient injuries.
There’s much more in our August issue, including an AJN Reports that explores potential benefits of and concerns about an increase in community college RN-to-BSN programs, and a Profile of a nurse activist who works to raise awareness about the lingering health effects of Agent Orange, so click here to browse the table of contents and explore the issue on our Web site.
A note on the cover: On this month’s cover, pictured above, is an anatomical drawing of the head and neck—the region that’s the focus of the aforementioned CE article on oropharyngeal cancer. The image caught the eye of AJN clinical editor Betsy Todd due to its departure from typical anatomical drawings: “It shows the beauty and elegance of the human body, and suggests movement and aliveness,” she says.
Todd feels that more-artistic-than-usual anatomical art—like Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomy drawings, for example—can serve a purpose beyond just conveying information. “These kinds of drawings are beautiful, even though the subject matter isn’t particularly pretty,” she explains. “They convey a feeling of respect for the human body, and even wonder. I think that should be our starting point when working with people in ill health.”