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Letters to the Editor – November 2008


Easy and inexpensive  
Thank you for Susan Fetzer’s excellent article, “Putting a stop to postop nausea and vomiting,” in the August  issue. One treatment that wasn’t mentioned is inhaled 70% isopropyl alcohol. To use it, open a standard alcohol prep pad; place it under the patient’s nose; and tell the patient to inhale deeply. Both research evidence and anecdotal evidence indicate this treatment is effective. And because it’s much cheaper than other rescue antiemetics, it’s certainly worth trying.
Kate Siegler, MSN, RN
Ashland, WI

Short-term solution to our shortage   
I strongly agree with the views expressed in “Headlines from the Hill” in the September issue. For one thing, using immigration instead of education to fix our nursing shortage shows a lack of respect for other countries that have their own shortages. Is the United States going to send our nurses to other countries to help them?
Also, the current approach may put our patients at risk. Some nurses from other countries simply don’t have the skills and education American nurses have. What will happen when these nurses can’t perform on par with American nurses?
I don’t understand why our government is looking for a quick fix to the shortage instead of funding nursing education at home. As a 2007 BSN graduate, I remember how many students were turned away or placed on a waiting list for the nursing program. It’s a shame that we look for outside help when we have potential students who are eager to become the nurses of tomorrow.
Jessica Polar, BSN, RN
Miami, FL

An easy read for busy nurses  
I want you to know how much I enjoy American Nurse Today. I look forward to the new issue every month. The journal is well written at a level that is easy for our busy staff nurses to read, yet it includes all of the recent best-practice guidelines and research. The September issue’s “Community-acquired pneumonia: Follow the guidelines to better outcomes” was excellent. It incorporated not just current best practices but also an explanation about externally reported indicators.
Sandy Gandee, MS, RN, ACNS-BC
Atlanta, GA

Nurses leading the way on HIT  
Kudos to ANA President Patton on her charge to our profession to participate in decisions about the implementation of health information technology (HIT). Her message in the August issue echoes messages we deliver when we visit our community hospital clients to assist with their integrated delivery networks. We’re happy to say that nurses at several of these organizations play key leadership roles, even though the information technology groups may have initiated the installations.
Participating in HIT decision making aligns with the Magnet™ principles of nursing excellence. In fact, many of the structures, innovations, and outcomes can become evidence that organizations use to support their application for Magnet.
Darinda Sutton, MSN, RN
Laurie A. Gehrt, BSN, MBA, RN
Kansas City, MO

Eye-opening editorial   
Let me commend Pamela Cipriano on her clinical and leadership skills and her zeal to propel the nursing profession through and beyond the 21st century. Her editorial, “Senior care: Are we prepared for the impending healthcare crisis?” in the August issue was an eye opener. I was wondering if the Advancing Senior Healthcare Conference, held in Pennsylvania this year, could be held in other states in the country. This would provide the same educational opportunity to all healthcare professionals and hope to family members of the aging population.
Lydia Falade, RN
St. Paul, MN

Editor-in-Chief’s response: Thank you for your letter. We will pass along the suggestion about spreading the “Advancing Senior Healthcare” conferences to other states around the nation. Raising awareness and increasing the engagement of healthcare providers will go a long way toward creating momentum that will create lasting change.

We welcome your comments. You may submit letters to the editor electronically at www.AmericanNurseToday.com/letters. 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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