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Letters to the Editor – May 2007


Show us the money
I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of employing nurses in or near retirement to increase the size of the professional workforce, as suggested in “Using our gold mine to compensate for our deficit” in the March issue of American Nurse Today. But simple fixes such as retaining or “re-recruiting” experienced nurses will not increase the size of the nurse workforce. Money will.
We need money for workplace redesign so nurses without the strength and stamina of a 30-year-old can still perform their jobs, money for nursing education, and money for better salaries to retain faculty and clinically based nurses who are considering retirement.
I believe the nursing shortage reflects a misalignment of America’s healthcare financing priorities, and asking our experienced nurses to hang around for a few more years doesn’t begin to solve the problem.  Our healthcare policymakers need to dedicate resources to solving the nursing shortage, or it will only get worse.
Teresa T. Goodell, PhD, RN, CNS, CCRN, APRN,BC
Portland, OR

Valuable info—and a good read
Thank you for American Nurse Today and all the valuable information it provides. I especially appreciate the many updates on current trends, such as “Six hot drugs for today and beyond” and “Using our gold mine to compensate for our deficit” in the March issue. Reading American Nurse Today is a good way of educating nurses, so we can be more productive in what we do.
I really have a good time reading this magazine. I hope it will be around for a long time.
Genoveva Bell, BSN, RN
Tacoma, WA

Wrong move
As a retired nurse practitioner, I am enjoying American Nurse Today very much. I was especially delighted to see “Tired of being tired? Try Pilates!” in the January issue. I started regular Pilates in 2006, at age 69 and became a different person physically, mentally, and spiritually within a few weeks. I regret that we didn’t teach Pilates instead of “body mechanics” 50 years ago, when I started in nursing.

I do have some concerns that the article and photos show advanced-level Pilates, especially the photo for the 100’s. I fear some novices might try that and hurt themselves. I think that articles such as this one should focus on beginning-level exercises or be clearly labeled as advanced-level Pilates that should not be attempted without the assistance of a certified Pilates instructor.

Thanks again for a great publication!
Ann C. Shepard, MS, RN,C
Detroit Lakes, MN

Author’s response
Thanks so much for your observations about the Pilates article. The four exercises described in the article are considered beginner exercises in the Pilates system. But as you point out, the exercise pictured would be a very difficult (and incorrect) position from which to do the “100’s.” The picture should actually be included as part 2 of the “Rolling Back” exercise. The “100’s” picture was mistakenly omitted.
Colleen Wenrich, RN

Quality care for GTMO detainees
I am responding to “Searching for transparency at Guantanamo Bay” in the February issue of American Nurse Today.

I am a registered nurse and former U.S. Naval Hospital Commanding Officer (CEO) and Joint Task Force Surgeon (JTF) for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay (GTMO). I was the JTF GTMO Surgeon from January 2002 to July 2003 and was responsible to the JTF commander for all aspects of the health care delivered to the detainees.

Since the inception of this mission, the detainees have received a standard of care equivalent to that received by American service members. This standard of care is unmatched in quality and includes strict attention to the Code of Ethics.

Our nursing colleagues in the United States and internationally can be proud of the quality of care delivered by GTMO nurses and all nurses who have chosen to serve in uniform during this most difficult time.

Albert J. Shimkus, Jr., MA, RN, CRNA
Captain, Nurse Corps, United States Navy, Retired
Portsmouth, RI  O


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