Letters – May 2012


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

Mentoring develops the protégé and the mentor. It creates an opportunity to excel, as my dear father told me many years ago. Mentoring has added deep ribbons of colorful richness to an already incredibly demanding, delightful, challenging nursing career.

I would not be who I am today without the careful mentorship of many outstanding women (and a few special men) who cared enough to give me time, care and support. They led me to understand my strengths and, within a respectful relationship, identified areas for personal and professional growth.

As a mentor, my advice and protection have saved dozens of protégés from tangled trouble ahead that they couldn’t see, saving them time, heartache and other difficulties.

M. Cecilia Wendler
Springfield, Ill.

Family Presence and Visitation

Re: Pages 7, 11 and 22 in February AACN Bold Voices and page 33 in March.

I first wrote some of these comments in a blog post at scrubmags.com. My reflex reaction to unlimited visitation is, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Family and loved ones do not need to witness certain aspects of care. But I also wonder if it could seem like I’m hiding something. Or I don’t want them to see a mistake I might make.

Maybe we all need to have unlimited visitation. That way we won’t get caught up in the tasks and will always remember it’s not an assignment in the bed; it’s a human being.

As nurses we have an amazing responsibility. As nurses we are entrusted with our patients’ most prized possession — their life.

It’s our job to continually speak for them when they cannot speak for themselves. This includes providing proper visitation rights and schedules. It’s about what is best for the patient. Period.

Sean Dent
Hermitage, Pa.

I work in two ICUs. One ICU has had open visiting since the early 1990s, and it works well. The other unit is very restrictive, and charge nurses typically assign me to the patients with “problem” families.

It’s amazing how quickly things settle down after I tell families they can stay as long as they’d like. I work nights, and they often decide to go home.

Linda Rutherford
River Falls, Wis.

We allow almost unlimited visiting, closing the unit only for an hour at change of shift. This ensures a safe handoff without interruptions and protects every patient during report.

Kathi Sweetman
Rochester, N.Y.

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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