Our Readers Respond

Letters to the Editor – February 2007

Talkin’ ’bout my generation
I’m impressed with your journal. I’ve enjoyed reading many of the articles—for example, the one about helping nurses of different generations work together effectively (“Managing the multigenerational nursing staff,” December). I’m glad the author stressed that not everyone fits a generational stereotype. I’m a Nexter, and although it’s true that I appreciated a longer orientation, I certainly haven’t been coddled.
I also liked “How do you look?” (October). I agree it’s difficult (especially for the general public) to distinguish staff members based on what they’re wearing. However, I think name tags with the person’s job title and credentials help with that. Speaking from experience, I can say white isn’t a nurse-friendly color, and I suspect that’s at least part of the reason why our attire has moved away from it.
Nikki Patnode, BSN, RN
Prior Lake, MN

50 years of debate over entry-level education
Although I retired from nursing nearly 10 years ago, I still peruse the professional literature. My daughter, an RN, brought me the premier issue of American Nurse Today, which I read with enthusiasm. After reading “Nursing—today and beyond,” I have to say I’m bewildered that our profession is still debating the issue of appropriate entry-level education for nurses. We were “massaging” that issue back in 1958 when I was a delegate to the ANA convention in Atlantic City.
I applaud Sue Tobin’s article (“How do you look?” October). She’s right: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. When working on my MS in psychiatric-mental health nursing in 1968, students and professors belittled me because I didn’t want to give up my uniform. They said wearing a uniform showed I wanted to keep my distance from patients. On the contrary—I wanted my patients to know they had an RN assisting them. It’s sad that we’ve given up this and many other symbols of our profession.
In 1972, when I was a CNS on an acute-care psychiatric unit, both professional and nonprofessional staff came to work with low-cut tops and short skirts that left little to the imagination. Some even came in bare feet (a bit extreme even for Hawaii). They justified dressing this way on the grounds that patients see the same things on the streets of this city, and we must always present “reality” to them. Imagine the reaction of patients who didn’t test reality appropriately to begin with! Yet the staff wondered why our patients were “sexually preoccupied.” As you might expect, they were angry when leaders decided to require staff to wear uniform tops with their street clothes.
Congratulations on American Nurse Today. I will continue to look for articles relevant to today’s nurses.
Jean T. Grippin, RN, MS (retired)
Honolulu, HI

A journal that strengthens the nursing profession
I love American Nurse Today. Every article is full of valuable information that I can apply to my practice and can use to help strengthen the nursing profession.
Jennifer Hoenig, BSN, RN
Kenosha, WI

Singular information source
I am very impressed with your publication and would like to share this story: My stepdaughter has always admired me and our profession—to the degree that she enrolled in a nursing program in New Jersey. Recently, she was studying for a pharmacology exam and told me she couldn’t find the information she needed on drug dosage calculations. I remembered reading an article on this subject in your premier issue (“Calculating I.V. drip rates with confidence,” October), so I sent the issue to her. As it turns out, it was the only source that had the information she’d been looking for. She received an A on her exam and is very thankful for the journal. So I’d like to thank the author of that article and your editorial staff for making it possible for me to share the information she needed.
Sharon Lukach
Sartell, MN

Valuable without being verbose
I am so pleased with the issues I’ve received. Your articles are up-to-date, with a readable and visually appealing format. They contain all the valuable information on a particular subject without being verbose.
Pat Head
Ft. Myers, FL


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