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Patient Safety / Quality

Our readers respond

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Concurring on “quantum” nursing

I was delighted with Leah Curtin’s eloquent description of the beliefs I’ve embraced in my nursing career (“Quan­tum nursing,” September 2010). I have “preached” about the therapeutic use of self to nursing students, urged obstetric nursing students I’ve precepted to fully trust their intuition, and pondered the meaning and use of our energy (and our patients’) with my neighbor, who’s an emergency department physician. I plan to share this column with many people, including my senior nursing students who will graduate in December. Thank you, Dr. Curtin, for your enlightened view that we are so much more than our knowledge of nursing. As I remind my students, “Being the smartest nurse doesn’t make one the best nurse.”

Sherry Rawls-Bryce, MSN, RN, FCN
Assistant Professor, Division of Nursing
Shenandoah University
Winchester, VA

Discharge instructions: A crucial patient-education need

“Issues up close: Nurses promote true health understanding through literacy” (September 2010) called attention to patients’ educational needs. Like many emergency department nurses, I spend only a small portion of my time explaining discharge instructions to patients. Low literacy and language barriers further complicate the situation and decrease the likelihood of effective communication. This can lead to patient recidivism, or a high “bounceback” rate, with patients returning for care simply because they didn’t fully understand follow-up instructions. Delivering adequate discharge instructions has quality, risk, and financial implications. Healthcare organizations should examine this issue further and seek creative strategies to address the unique learning needs of our patient populations.

Colleen Claffey, RN-BC, MSN, CEN, CPEN, EMT-P
Nurse Educator, Emergency Department/Critical Care<br
Jackson North Medical Center
North Miami Beach, Florida

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