Intimate Strangers: A Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse Reflects

By Lisa Dietrich for AJN.

“How do I talk about these things with a stranger unless I know how to be intimate?” asks pediatric intensive care nurse Hui-wen (Alina) Sato, the author of “Intimate Strangers,” the Reflections essay in AJN’s August issue.

Sato writes about “walking intimately . . . through the most devastating hours of her life” with a woman she’s only just met—even as her role as a nurse involves ending the life-sustaining treatments of this mother’s child.

Nurses will tell you such experiences can be common in their profession. But essays like this remind us that such experiences are also remarkable. Sato is the type of nurse who ponders her role, who stops after the fact to wonder what it means to be a participant at such moments in others’ lives. […]

2017-08-04T10:51:54+00:00 August 4th, 2017|Nursing, nursing stories, patient engagement|0 Comments

AJN’s Recent Awards: As Always, It Depends on Strong Writers and Editors

Because AJN‘s reputation depends on the conscientious work of numerous authors and editors, we’d like to note here the awards AJN has been awarded in 2017 so far, both for content published in the journal and on this blog, AJN Off the Charts. We are grateful to be recognized by the following organizations:

Winning journal articles, entire issues, and covers:

2017-07-21T08:59:42+00:00 July 21st, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

The Reality of Depression Following Stroke

Photo by David A. Grossman.

This month’s CE article, “Early Intervention in Patients with Poststroke Depression,” hit home for me. It brought back memories of my Aunt Rita’s decline from a once-vibrant and independent career woman. As authors Gwendolyn Hamid and Meredith MacKenzie note, poststroke depression “often goes unrecognized and untreated because the physical and cognitive repercussions of stroke make it difficult to identify.”

Aunt Rita lived alone in an old Victorian house in Massachusetts. She was fun-loving and lively and enjoyed going to the theater and dinner in Manhattan, shopping, and sipping a beer and rooting for the Red Sox and Boston Bruins—especially when she was with her New York nieces and nephews. When she had cardiac bypass surgery in her 70s, however, things changed drastically. She didn’t bounce back from surgery. Aunt Rita was slow and tentative in moving about and became quiet and withdrawn. A niece came to live with her as a caregiver, but Aunt Rita didn’t seem to want to eat, drink, or even bathe. Her physician diagnosed organic brain disease secondary to the effects of a stroke.

About three months later, I drove up from New York to visit her along with my mother (Rita’s younger […]

2017-07-10T09:31:27+00:00 July 10th, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments

What Types of Articles Do Journal Editors Want to Read?

Writing is time-consuming and difficult to do—the last thing you want is to spend time working on a manuscript that has little chance of being published. There are many strategies you can use to enhance the likelihood of publication, which we discuss throughout this series, but the first and most important is writing the type of article that journal editors want to publish.

Those opening sentences from “What Types of Articles to Write,” the third in AJN‘s ongoing Writing for Publication: Step by Step series by Karen Roush, PhD, RN, FNP, speak directly to the uncertainty that besets many would-be nurse writers (and in fact, all writers). Form is intimately tied to content. Ideally, the two should support each other, but first they have to be a good fit.

What type of article should you write?

What types of articles will get journal editors’ attention? And what will hold their attention once they open your manuscript? […]

2017-05-25T11:07:23+00:00 May 25th, 2017|Nursing, writing|0 Comments

Parents as Mentors: Observations of a Peds/NICU Nurse

By Jody Holland, MN, RN, neonatal ICU and pediatrics, St. Charles Medical Center, Bend, Oregon

The strength of parents.

Hospital, by boliston / via Flickr

We have all had and need mentors at some time in our career. The most influential mentors to me have been the parents of the infants and children who have been placed in my care. Parents do not ask for their child to be born early or develop a devastating illness, but these parents summon great strength when it’s needed.

I have countless memories of episodes that have made me pause and reflect on the courage and resolve of parents. I remember a family who stood by their child during a resuscitation and were an integral part of the decision-making process to end the resuscitation. This was long before research documented the benefits of this type of parental involvement.

Or the time when the parents of a child with a devastating head injury fulfilled their promise to their child to get married. In addition, the child also wanted to be the flower girl. They were married at their child’s bedside. The ICU staff followed their wishes and dressed the girl in an outfit of their choosing, placed flowers in her hair, and made a bouquet. The ceremony went off without a hitch—and I believe it gave the parents some peace in […]

2017-05-01T09:29:17+00:00 May 1st, 2017|Nursing|0 Comments