Home for Christmas: Flight Nursing and the Symbols of Hope

The Helm of Awe /courtesy of the author

As nurses, we all have patients who stick with us. I’ve thought of Henry many times since we transferred him six months ago from Dublin to an American hospital to undergo groundbreaking treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia.

His prognosis was poor—a fact he was well aware of. He’d told his father he wanted to “be done.” He’d had enough of hospitals and the medicine that didn’t cure him and only made him feel worse. He was ambulatory and stable from a medical standpoint, but had the drawn and haggard look of the chronically ill. Most disturbing was his reticence. There was none of the enthusiasm I’d expect from a 12-year-old riding across the Atlantic in a Learjet—he couldn’t even be coaxed to lean into the cockpit.

The only time he perked up was when we landed for fuel in Keflavik, Iceland. He sat up and gazed out the window on our approach, looking interested in his surroundings for the first time.  I found out from his dad that he’d missed a school trip to the island due to his cancer, and I started telling him all I knew of Iceland, which wasn’t much. At that time, I had never left […]

2016-12-22T09:37:32+00:00 December 20th, 2016|Nursing, nursing stories|0 Comments

Nursing Voices: The 10 Most-Read AJN Blog Posts of 2016

flickr creative commons/by you me

As the editor of this blog, I’m often amazed by the originality, honesty, and quality of the writing that comes to us from people who are, in many cases, not writers by trade. AJN Off the Charts publishes articles about professional issues, health policy and research, and clinical topics, as well as many nurse and patient stories. Here are ten popular posts from 2016 that you might have missed. Some of the authors of the posts listed here are regular contributors, some are AJN editors, some are first-time contributors; some are established scholars, some are new to the nursing profession.

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The 10 most-read posts we published in 2016.*

What a Nurse Really Wants
“I just want some support. I just want to take care of my patients, and maybe get a lunch break on any given day. I just want to be heard.”

CDC Opioid-Prescribing Guideline for Chronic Pain: Concerns and Contexts
“These new guidelines cast a very wide net. Many patients with chronic pain will find themselves facing new hurdles to adequate relief.”

Nurses and Latent TB Infection
“In […]

2016-12-16T08:29:57+00:00 December 16th, 2016|healthcare social media, Nursing|0 Comments

Blogging: As Many Voices as There Are Nurses

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor

Blogging - What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons Blogging – What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons

A recent check reveals that a good percentage of the blogs on our nursing blogs list have been relatively active over the past few months. A few have been less so. I didn’t see any posts about the ice-bucket challenge, and that’s okay. Here are a few recent and semirecent posts by nurses that might interest readers of this blog:

Hospice nursing. At Hospice Diary, a post from a few weeks back is called “Dying with Your Boots On.” An excerpt:

As I drove down a switch-back gravel drive in the middle of nowhere, I pulled into a driveway and there in a sun-warmed grassy yard sitting perfectly still on a garden swing among buzzing bees and newly bloomed flowers was a fellow in a crisp white shirt, a matching white cowboy hat, black leather boots and a crooked smile.  I stepped out of my car and told him for a moment I thought he was the garden scarecrow, until he tipped his hat.

Nurse-midwifery. A post on At Your Cervix: Tales of a New CNM, First Year gives a short nuts-and-bolts glimpse of the author’s daily work life as a […]

Writer or Nurse? The Costs of an Untold Story

Amanda Anderson, BSN, RN, CCRN, works in critical care in New York City and is enrolled in the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing/Baruch College of Public Affairs dual master’s degree program in nursing administration and public administration. Her blog is called This Nurse Wonders.

via Wikimedia Commons via Wikimedia Commons

I found myself getting annoyed with a dying cancer patient today. I don’t think this is an occurrence any honest nurse would deny, but when I could feel my blood pressure rise every time she dry-heaved, I knew it’d been a mistake to come to work this morning.

Not my proudest moment.

You see, I’ve felt my nursing self change of late, with an urge growing within me to slowly step back from the bedside, at least for a bit. Perhaps it’s school and the clarification of future goals forming in my mind, but clinical work has felt more like job-work, and this other work, this future work that largely centers on telling my nursing story, is becoming what I think of as calling-work.

Staring down at my poor patient, I realized I’d swung the balance of bedside work and calling-work too much to one side lately. I’ve been working—as a nurse—too much, and working—as a writer and a student—too little. After seven years of bedside nursing, and the joys and trials of per diem work, you’d think […]

Nursing Blogs Roundup: Some Veteran Voices and Some Lively New Ones

By Jacob Molyneux, senior editor/blog editor

Blogging - What Jolly Fun/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons Blogging – What Jolly Fun!/Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, via Flickr Creative Commons

Here are some new or newish posts of note on various nursing blogs:

At Nursetopia: “You Get What You Put In To Your Nursing Association.”

At Nursing Stories: “Memories of MICU,” a post about visiting a new state-of-the-art medical intensive care unit (MICU) and comparing it to one the author worked on in the 1970s.

At the American Nurses Association (ANA) blog called One Strong Voice: “Working With a New Graduate or Novice RN? If So, Be Mindful of Workplace Bullying.”

Episode six is now up at The Adventures of Nurse Niki, a newish blog written by Julianna Paradisi (her other blog is JParadisi RN). This blog is made up entirely of first-person episodes told by a fictional nurse named Niki. Each episode is short, detailed, and engaging, and it’s easy to keep up with it on a regular basis, or quickly catch up if you haven’t yet read any episodes.

At Digital Doorway: “Evolving as a Nurse: The Work of the Soul.” Here’s a brief excerpt:

“The evolution of a nurse and his or her career is a very individual experience, and this experience expresses the spirit, […]