Letters – June 2012

Mentoring

Re: “Our Personal Catalysts” President’s Note in AACN Bold Voices, March 2012

I came to the U.S. when I was 10 years-old with a desire to work in healthcare. When I was a high school freshman, a nurse mentor at the hospital where I volunteered helped me decide to become a nurse.

She listened, offered advice and shared her experiences. When I was a senior she arranged for me to shadow nurses in the emergency department and trauma ICU. My mentor recognized my potential and made herself available to me every step along the way.

When I wanted to give up, she motivated me. Last May, I graduated and started to work in the same trauma unit. I experienced the power of mentorship at an early age and wanted to offer it to others.

As president of the Hispanic Student Nurses Association (HSNA) during my first semester, I established the HSNA+ Peer Mentoring program. Seniors mentor juniors, who mentor prenursing students preparing to apply for nursing school.

Later on I saw classmates fall behind or leave school because they failed the medication administration math exam. I helped establish a math tutoring program for them.

As a nurse I continue to mentor students. I developed a nurse-to-nurse report sheet to help me stay organized and shared it with students who rotate through our units. It’s nice to hear them tell me the sheet helps them. It might seem small, but I know I am making a difference.

Jose R. Sanches
Fort Worth, Texas

I have been a critical care nurse since 1972. I’m so grateful for the chance to mentor the next generation of critical care nurses.

Nurses like Becki, who transferred to ICU from the floor. I was assigned to orient her and I didn’t want to. Here is what happened.

My mom — a very active, horseback-riding 79-year-old — died suddenly in late 1998. Ours wasn’t always an easy relationship, and I was unprepared for the many phases of grief I experienced. For the first time, I found myself watching the clock at work.

I did not want to be there. Or at home. I felt so sad and it took all I had to get through the day and provide my patients with some kind of quality care.

I remember Becki’s first day. Even the room we were in. It turned out to be the first day since my mom’s death that I did not look at the clock.

Her desire to learn and excitement about critical care brought back my purpose and joy. I may have helped her become the excellent critical care nurse she is today, but she gave me so much more.

I’ve told Becki and others this story many times over the years. How often we are prepared to give, but not open to how much we may receive.

Kathy Hageseth
La Crosse, Wis.

Early Mobilization

Re: “Early Mobilization” in AACN Bold Voices, February 2012

Our multidisciplinary team — which developed an evidence-based early mobility protocol — found that functional decline, increased length of stay, increased cost of care and increased morbidity and mortality are also among the many complications associated with mechanical ventilation and prolonged ICU stays.

Progressive mobilization and ambulation can help these patients to reduce risk and develop a more positive outlook on recovery, improved independence and an improved quality of life.

Perme and Chandrashekar’s 2009 article in the American Journal of Critical Care presents an early mobilization program with four phases of rehabilitation.

It’s a good resource to develop a program aimed at reducing the many complications associated with ICU admissions and/or mechanical ventilation.

Eugene E. Baumann Jr.
Richland, Wash.

AACN Bold Voices encourages your letters for possible print and/or online publication. Please be concise. Letters may be edited before publication.

Include your name, credentials, city, state and email address (for verification).

Write to aacnboldvoices@aacn.org.

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