About Corinne McSpedon

AJN senior editor.

Remembering an Air Force Nurse Killed in a Vietnam War Airlift

This Memorial Day weekend, as we remember all nurses who have served in the U.S. military, we spotlight one, Air Force Captain Mary Klinker, who died in a plane crash outside Saigon during the final days of the Vietnam War. She was the only member of the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps—and the last military nurse—to die in that war.

Capt. Klinker had volunteered to work aboard the first flight of a mission, Operation Babylift, ordered by President Gerald Ford’s administration in the weeks before the fall of Saigon (now called Ho Chi Minh City). The aim was to move 2,000 South Vietnamese orphans and displaced children to the Philippines and then the United States for adoption.

In addition to Capt. Klinker, more than 300 passengers, including Air Force personnel, Defense Attaché Office employees, and about 250 children, filled the troop compartment and cargo area of the C-5 cargo plane on April 4, 1975. Children were placed together in seats and cardboard boxes. Soon after leaving the airport near Saigon, a substantial malfunction in the rear of the plane led to a forced landing in a field. About 130 passengers, many of whom were in the cargo area, died. Capt. Klinker was caring for children in that […]

2017-05-26T13:22:46+00:00 May 26th, 2017|Nursing, nursing history|0 Comments

Chemical Exposure: A Preventable Cause of Harm to Children’s Health

“Children are often exposed to. . . contaminants through their behavior—when they crawl on the floor or explore their environment by touching and tasting objects indiscriminately. In addition, because they are young, there is the potential for environmental exposures to negatively impact their health for a long time.”

Photo © Associated Press

Chemicals are ubiquitous

In “Project TENDR,” an article in this month’s issue of AJN, author Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, a professor at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies, discusses why children are particularly susceptible to environmental exposures to chemicals.

Aside from children’s vulnerability to chemical exposures as still developing individuals, Anderko observes that chemicals are also especially hazardous to children simply because they are everywhere: “ . . . in health care supplies and equipment, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the cosmetics and personal products (such as shampoos, baby bottles, toys, and thousands of other consumer products) we use.”

Developmental harms of children’s exposure to chemicals

Anderko summarizes the concerns raised by a growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures and pediatric health outcomes:

“ . . . widespread exposure to toxic chemicals can increase the risk of cognitive, behavioral, and social impairment in […]

Overactive Bladder in Women: Nurses Can Improve Screening, Management of a Common Problem

“Whether due to discomfort with the topic or a lack of knowledge about treatment options, some women attempt to manage symptoms on their own, a decision that can lead to additional problems…”

Can Significantly Affect Daily Activities

Among women 18 to 70 years old, almost a third are “sometimes” affected by the symptoms of overactive bladder, according to the authors of this month’s CE feature, “Overactive Bladder in Women.” This rate is nearly twice that among men, and prevalence is known to increase in all adults as they age.

Overactive bladder can significantly affect daily activities, with many women altering their routines to ensure a bathroom is nearby. The “hallmark symptom of overactive bladder is urgency,” according to authors Mary H. Palmer, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, AGSF, and Marcella G. Willis-Gray, MD. Women may experience urgency with urinary incontinence, stress urinary incontinence, or mixed urinary incontinence (in which a combination of these symptoms occurs).

A Tendency to Self-Manage

Despite the impact of this condition on everyday routines, patients often resist talking to their health care providers about symptoms—or do so as an afterthought, as the patient does in the hypothetical case study accompanying this article. Whether due to discomfort with the topic or a lack of knowledge about treatment options, some women attempt to manage symptoms on their own, a decision that can lead to […]

2017-04-03T10:53:35+00:00 April 3rd, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Baby Boxes: Gifts Intended to Educate New Parents About Safe Sleeping

A Gift for Every New N.J. Parent

When I had my first child in New Jersey more than a decade ago, the hospital sent me home with a bag of product samples, including a few diapers, a package of wipes, two cans of formula, and an assortment of coupons. These items were helpful to varying extents—I was breastfeeding and unlikely to buy the products featured on the coupons, but the wipes and diapers certainly came in handy. So did the little hat a nurse put on my son’s head soon after birth. With its horizontal pink and blue stripes, this soft beanie that actually stayed in place was ever present during his first few weeks. It was the most useful and well-loved relic of our hospital stay.

The parents of infants in New Jersey are now given an even more practical item, one that also has the potential to reduce infant mortality rates: a baby box. This laminated, nontoxic cardboard box is packed with items that are essential during the early days of parenthood—including diapers, wipes, clothing, and breast pads—but it’s also a bed. The box, which includes a mattress and sheet, provides a safe place for infants to sleep during their first year. It’s free to all new and expectant parents in the state who watch a 20-minute educational video and take a quiz online I also like to use Powerful Prep which is really helpful. […]

2017-06-12T21:23:04+00:00 February 24th, 2017|Nursing, Public health|0 Comments