Letters — March 2013

Night Noises

Re: Page 13 in September AACN Bold Voices

After many complaints about nighttime noise at the nurses’ station, our manager purchased a noise meter and rotated it through each ICU for one week at a time. The Yacker Tracker looks like a stoplight.

When the noise level rises, the device flashes orange. When noise exceeds a normal level, it flashes red and alarms.

It annoyed us at first. But after a week we could feel the calm and quiet, because all of us were keeping an eye on the sound meter.

The only time it turned red was when a code was called on the intercom. It contributes to patient and family satisfaction and will soon become a permanent fixture in all of our units.

Hannah Dowling
Fort Myers, Fla.

Dare To Take on Bullying

Re: Page 22 in February AACN Bold Voices

Bullying is a serious problem. It is also an ethical issue.

Members of the nursing ethics council and unit-based ethics stewards at The University of Texas Health Science Center have been educated about bullying. It was eye opening that many had witnessed bullying but did not recognize it as an ethical issue or dare to speak up.

I wrote about developing ethical skills in the April 2012 issue of Critical Care Nurse and invite my colleagues to attend the NTI 2013 mastery session, “Dare to Speak Up: When It Is not a Matter of Life and Death, Everyday Ethical Issues in Nursing,” where we’ll talk about our experiences and interventions. 

Catherine Robichaux
San Antonio, Texas

Gut Feelings

I work with a very specialized and vulnerable population of children with heart disease — critical heart failure, congenital heart disease, cardiothoracic surgical intervention and pulmonary hypertension. When their status changes, it happens rapidly and usually dramatically.

I have learned to push my “something is just not right” instinct so that, with a thorough and thoughtful assessment that includes patient and family perspectives, I can present enough evidence to validate my intuition. I believe there would be fewer adverse outcomes if medical team members broadened their scope to include their gut feelings when they assess and plan care.

Dora D. O’Neil
St. Louis, Mo.

The Rareness Inside Us

I had to leave critical care bedside nursing after 22 years because of serious health issues. I am an AACN member so it was an especially sad decision.

But it allowed me the opportunity to focus full time on the Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization I started after my daughter was diagnosed with this genetic disorder characterized by albinism, platelet bleeding disorder, Crohn’s disease and pulmonary fibrosis. Patients with this devastating condition often need lung transplants.

After learning my daughter’s diagnosis I vowed that no family would ever be without resources. One of our annual initiatives is a community campaign to spread the word about rare disease research by celebrating the “RARENESS” inside all of us.

I encourage my AACN colleagues to learn more about rare diseases and participate in our Dare To Be Rare campaign.

Donna Appell
Oyster Bay, 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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