A Nurse, a Purple Heart Medal, and the Pearl Harbor Attack

USS Arizona burning after Pearl Harbor attack

Tomorrow is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, when we honor the more than 2,400 Americans who were killed in the attack on December 7, 1941, that led the United States to enter World War II. Many nurses were there that day, caring for the wounded and showing civilians how to be of assistance—just as they have been during wartime dating back to the American Revolution. They have served in the U.S. military since Congress authorized the Army Nurse Corps and Navy Nurse Corps in the first decade of the 1900s, and before that provided battlefield care as civilians.

A nurse honored for service during the Pearl Harbor Attack.

Some of these nurses are spotlighted by exhibits and web pages of the National Women’s History Museum, an online museum that aims to “show the full scope of women’s contributions to history” and thus highlights the histories of female-majority professions such as nursing. “The Bravery of Army Nurse Annie G. Fox at Pearl Harbor” tells the story of the first U.S. servicewoman to receive the Purple Heart medal. First Lieutenant Fox was the head nurse at Station Hospital at Hickam Field, on the naval base at Pearl Harbor, when the attack occurred. Nearly a year later, when she […]

2017-12-06T10:48:59+00:00 December 6th, 2017|Nursing, nursing history|0 Comments

Family Caregivers: Nurses by Default

Caregiver guides family member using safe stair-climbing technique. Photo courtesy of AARP Public Policy Institute.

We all know how compressed hospital stays are. Patients are frequently admitted and discharged within a few days, even for what used to be “big” surgeries. We dutifully send them home with discharge instructions—sometimes, pages of them—and often have only a few minutes to go over them with whoever is taking the patient home. And in many cases, that person is not even the one who will be caring for the patient, so instructions for medications and treatments are given second-hand. And we wonder why there are so many readmissions within 30 days!

Forty million plus unpaid caregivers in the United States.

As I note in this month’s editorial, there are over 40 million unpaid caregivers in this country who are administering complex medical and nursing interventions such as ostomy and wound care,  tube feedings, injections, and tracheostomy care, in addition to taking on bathing, toileting, and other necessary care. Many of these caregivers do so without any real training. Aside from the real danger that they may cause harm to the patient or to themselves, they often live in fear that they are not providing what […]

Are There Veterans Among Your Patients?

When vets get non-VHA health care, some issues may be missed.

Most U.S. veterans—and in 2014, there were approximately 19.3 million—do not get their health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Overburdened facilities with long waiting times and the fact that many veterans live considerable distance from a VHA facility mean that many get their health care from local and private organizations.

And while this may mean more convenient and timely care, it also might mean that health issues related to their military service might be missed by providers who do not have experience providing care to service members and veterans.

This Saturday, November 11, marks another Veterans Day. It’s been our tradition to include content related to health care for veterans or active duty military in November. This year, we have an original research CE article, “Primary Care Providers and Screening for Military Service and PTSD.”

Few providers screen for military service.

The authors of this article sought to examine whether non-VHA primary care providers were screening patients for military service and PTSD. Based on their survey of providers in western Pennsylvania, they found that most did not ask patients about a history of military service—and of those providers who did, few screened patients for PTSD. […]

AJN in November: Preeclampsia Management, Health Conditions Associated with Military Service, More

The November issue of AJN is now live. Here are some articles we’d like to bring to your attention.

CE: Preeclampsia: Current Approaches to Nursing Management

A clinical review of current practice related to preeclampsia risk assessment, prediction, and management, plus updated diagnostic criteria from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Task Force on Hypertension in Pregnancy.

CE: Original Research: Primary Care Providers and Screening for Military Service and PTSD

Evidence shows that veterans who receive their health care from private sector employers are less likely to be screened for military service—and therefore may not be treated for service-related health conditions. Here, the authors explore whether rural Pennsylvania providers offer this screening to their patients.

Creating a Fair and Just Culture in Schools of Nursing

What strategies can nursing schools use to create a fair and just culture? The second part in a two-part series.

Perspectives on Palliative Nursing: Liberty and Justice for All 

When an unauthorized immigrant suffers a brain injury, who decides when treatment is withdrawn? An ethical dilemma touches on issues of clinician autonomy and justice versus patient and family autonomy.

There’s much more in our November issue, including:

  • Teaching for Practice column on promoting nursing students’ ethical development
  • An AJN Reports on recent […]
2017-10-30T09:25:26+00:00 October 30th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

Are We Hearing the Questions that Patients and Their Families Don’t Ask?

“The spoken and unspoken messages we give patients and families are powerful.”

Viewpoint author Juanita Reigle

As a ‘frequent flyer’ of late, accompanying a family member on the long trek through cancer treatment, I’m acutely aware of the ways in which doctors and nurses communicate with us. Some have never mastered the art of interacting with people in stressful conditions. Others have remarkable radar and a special ability to “read between the lines,” identifying concerns that he and I haven’t yet voiced.

In ‘She’s Fine,’ the Viewpoint essay in AJN’s October issue, Juanita Reigle reflects upon how we respond to the questions patients and family members don’t raise. Some are left unasked because people are too overwhelmed to formulate a question. Some people aren’t ready to hear the answers. And sometimes, sadly, families sense that this doctor or nurse really doesn’t want to engage with them.

[…]