Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Uniquely nursing

One of the personal/professional highlights of my summer was the chance to attend a 'think tank for nurse activists' at UMass/Amherst, organized by Peggy Chin and colleagues. There, I met and worked with over 50 colleagues from across the US and Canada, joined together by the need to "do something" in our respective specialties.

Peggy and colleagues have also just launched nursology.net - "a web site for nurse scholars, developed and maintained by nurse scholars... a repository for resources about nursing conceptual models, grand theories, middle-range theories, and situation-specific theories, and associated methodologies."

Their timing could not be better.

Elaine has just started an 18-month RN-to-baccalaureate program, and one of her first assignments is to identify and describe the nursing theory that best expresses her own philosophy of nursing. As an AD graduate from 25 years ago, she's not familiar with the concept of formal nursing theory or philosophy as addressed in academia, though her practice is most certainly grounded in what Anne Kibrick calls "intelligent caring." Among her other skills and qualifications, she's board-certified in her specialty, and I'm writing this from a hotel room in Columbus, Ohio while she attends the annual scientific meeting of the Association for Vascular Access.

I took several courses before bailing on my grad school plans, including one on nursing theory, and though the subject first seemed unconnected from the real world for me, I soon dug in to the notion that all of us hang our practice on some theoretical framework, no matter how shaky.

The approach that made the most sense to me was 'Nursing as Caring,' a theory developed by Anne Boykin and Savina Schoenhofer. Here's a good overview, though it appears the blog is not currently maintained.

The core message behind the think tank and nursology is simple - nursing is a unique discipline that blends scientific understanding with an appreciation for humanism. We aren't assistant doctors, passive observers, expendable help, or "angels," though each of these views often seeps into the public's consciousness, or even our own.

As one example of the latter, Peggy and colleagues analyzed current nursing literature - articles in rigorous nursing journals - and found that a substantial portion of them did not cite other nurse authors or work. WTAF?!?

So, whether you're deep into academia, considering grad school or that undergraduate degree that was supposed to be the entry level for practice 50 years ago, check out nursology. I'm going to tell Elaine when she gets back from today's sessions.

Monday, September 17, 2018

At the museum...

The Mirror, 1978, lithograph
George Tooker, American, 1920-2011
Columbus Museum of Art
Museum purchase, Derby Funds
from the Phillip J. and Suzanne Schiller
Collection of American Social Commentary Art 1930-1970

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Between Atul Gawande and the Barbecue

to get to this guy...

Keeping up with Jeanne - our walk with Alzheimer’s

When Jeanne was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment in 2010, she and her husband, Jerry, had to navigate the path from her retirement as professor of nursing to her death in January, 2016. Their initial goal was to enjoy every day together. Their final one was for Jeanne to be safe, comfortable, and content at home, where she could be dignified and loved until she died. This presentation reflects on how they met their goals, and on the people who helped them. 

Jerry Soucy, RN, CHPN is an expert nurse certified in palliative care and hospice. His clinical experience includes critical care, hemodialysis, and care at end of life. He was Jeanne’s primary caregiver through her decline and death. He practices at Death Nurse LLC, based in Concord, MA.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Two things for Saturday

because you can't say it enough...

and because david bowie is helping me grieve

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tanned, rested and ready. Almost

It's the lamest excuse any blogger can offer. "I've been too busy..." As a former friend once said, "If you really want to do this, quit your day job."

Anywhoozle, I will be back soon on a more regular basis, and have some good stuff to share.

For now, enjoy this cartoon inspired by a recent conversation with a new nursing friend. It can also be used as the punchline in a stand-up bit:

"How does an oncologist know it's time to discontinue chemo? (1-2) When they close the casket!"

Thanks, Jerry