Clinical TopicsFeaturesInfection Prevention

Letters to the Editor – May 2009


Speaking of psychic experiences
Beth Wechsler’s article “A word about patients’ psychic experiences: Listen” in the March issue deserves to be widely read and discussed. The extrasensory experiences she describes are common in healthcare settings, yet they are widely considered impossible in conventional science and are commonly dismissed in our nursing and medical schools.
Psychic experiences can convey hope and solace to the sick and dying, and they can provide healthcare professionals with information that improves patient care. It is time to lift the taboo on psychic experiences in health care. Beth Wechsler and American Nurse Today are to be congratulated for helping make this happen.
Larry Dossey, MD
Santa Fe, NM

Thanks to Beth Wechsler for writing “A word about patients’ psychic experiences: Listen.” I have been a direct-care, hospital nurse for 38 years. These phenomena are common to me and many of my colleagues, though they won’t talk about these events for fear of criticism.
None of us has had any training or guidance regarding these experiences. I think it’s telling that it took a social worker, and not a nurse, to bring this topic out in the open for all of us. It’s time the nursing community started to address these experiences and deal with them.
Terri Arthur, BS, MS, RN
East Falmouth, MA

Linking dirty scrubs and infection?
The “Take note” item called “Keeping scrubs clean” in the March issue says one hospital that started washing scrubs and banning staff members from wearing them outside the hospital has a near-zero rate of hospital-acquired infections. But there’s scant scientific evidence linking scrubs and infection rates.
I am concerned that nurses who read this item may believe the clothes they wear to work can be related to increased infection rates and to infections at home. Until solid research confirms this relationship, I will continue to provide staff members and administrators with the “APIC State of the Art Report” by Nathan Belkin.
Mary Moorefield, RN
Durham, NC

Editor’s comment: To read the “APIC State of the Art Report,” visit

A great teaching journal
I would like to commend American Nurse Today for its continued commitment to nursing education. Your journal has graciously given me permission to use articles to supplement my classroom presentations. The features and continuing education articles are timely, easy to read, well presented, and supported by current references. Presenting them to my students for educational purposes has been a great benefit. Thank you for your help as we all work together to educate future nurses.
Concetta Fiorentino MSN, RN, PCCN
Newtown, PA

When noncompliance isn’t what it appears to be
The Editorial in the February issue, “Seeing red,” discusses the “knowing/doing gap” that stops many people from making healthy lifestyle changes. In my view, the current economic crisis is widening that gap. These days, some people simply can’t afford doctor visits and medications.
I recently cared for a hypertensive patient who’d been laid off. She’d been buying her antihypertensive drugs more cheaply from a certain pharmacy, but after a while she couldn’t even afford those, so she stopped getting her prescriptions refilled. Then, her hypertension veered out of control, and she had to be hospitalized. Like many others, she wanted to comply with therapy but didn’t have the money to do so, and as a result her disease got worse.
Cheryl Greenidge, BSN, RN
Stroudsburg, PA
Correction: In the March 2009 issue, the article “Seeking staffing solutions” presents incorrect information on staffing legislation in Massachusetts. Although bills proposing staffing legislation have been submitted and reviewed, the state legislature has neither approved nor enacted such legislation. The 2008 session ended without action on the most recent staffing legislation bill. O
We welcome your comments. You may submit letters to the editor electronically at Or you may send them by regular mail to: Letters to the Editor, American Nurse Today, c/o HeatlhCom Media, 259 Veterans Lane, 3rd Floor, Doylestown, PA 18901. Please include your full name, credentials, city, state, and daytime phone number or e-mail address. Letters should contain no more than 250 words and will be edited for grammar, length, content, and clarity. All letters are considered American Nurse Today property and therefore unconditionally assigned to American Nurse Today.

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