January / February 2017   Comments

Remembering our nursing sisters

I was gratified to see the articles with information about our Canadian nursing sisters and their contributions during the First World War, including the story of those who were lost in the sinking of the Llandovery Castle. My great-aunt, Carola Douglas, was one of the 14 nurses who drowned on June 27, 1918.

I am proud to be a relative of someone who served and lost her life during wartime but also humbled by what I know of the kind of work she and her colleagues performed over the course of a terrible war. Carola had a number of postings, including field hospitals in France and the Balkans, where she had to deal with injuries and working conditions that are beyond our modern imaginings.

We are fortunate to have excellent online resources that provide details of their lives. Each year, when Nov. 11 approaches, I make sure I read through these accounts and remind my family about the sacrifice our nursing sisters made for their country.

– Pam Dawson, RN, BSN
Surrey, B.C.

The messaging in the Huggies ad

I completely agree with the opinion expressed by Hannah Varto and Ken McDonald (Feedback) regarding the Huggies ad that appeared in at least three recent issues — June, September and November. Antiquated images of nurses as martyrs do a disservice to our profession and ourselves. Normalizing stressful working conditions and celebrating neglect of self as a virtue is dangerous and damaging. It divides us and tacitly permits expressions of frustration and exhaustion toward overworked colleagues, blaming them for not keeping up rather than finding ways to support each other and address the root causes of this situation collectively. This is a major cause of the high rate of burnout and injury in the profession.

Please reconsider the use of this ad in future issues. I am sure that if Huggies knows how the ad has been received, they will produce one with a more progressive message.

– Denise Geib, RN(C)
Victoria, B.C.

The November issue of Canadian Nurse included a Feedback letter regarding a Huggies advertisement that ran in the September issue of the magazine. We regret that our advertisement, which was intended to express appreciation for nurses, disappointed some readers. Kimberly-Clark holds nurses in the highest regard. The intent of the ad was to honour and recognize the deep commitment nurses across Canada have for both their patients and their profession. We would like to emphasize that we do not advocate conditions that would compromise patient care or the well-being of nurses. Huggies is committed to building strong relationships with nurses and the broader community of health-care providers. Your knowledge and expertise play a vital role in the development of our products. We value your input and continued trust in our brand.

– Michael Z. Hurt
Kimberly-Clark Canada

MAID and suicide: Very different things

I read the letter from Norma Johnson (Feedback), and I was completely shocked. She argues that there is contradiction in the fact that we offer medical assistance in dying to terminally ill patients while also attempting to address high suicide rates in the general population. What shocked me is that she, a trained health-care professional, does not understand the distinction between MAID and suicide.

Regardless of the motivation for her letter, I would strongly encourage her to read Rosanne Beuthin’s article (The Last Word), which was in the same issue. I would hope that doing so could help Johnson understand what motivates terminally ill patients to seek an end to their pain and suffering. If her compassion for those people cannot overcome her personal objections, she should at least refrain from putting forward such spurious arguments in an attempt to cloud the issue. I believe she did a disservice to those patients who are already facing many challenges as they near the end of their lives.

– Andrea Bowbrick, RN
Vancouver, B.C.

Essential role of family caregivers

I enjoyed “How to Better Serve an Aging Population” by Virginia St-Denis (Feature, October). As nurses, we know that providing health services is a complex endeavour and that many care options are needed in order to serve diverse needs. In the article, the comments made by participants at the Hill Times forum did speak to the complexity and the challenges we now face in caring for this growing population. However, no mention was made of the essential role of family members in providing emotional support to older individuals, in assisting them with decision-making and in promoting their sense of belonging.

– Sandy Harper-Jaques, RN, MN
Calgary, Alta.

Thank You, Peer Reviewers

Canadian Nurse thanks all those who generously gave their time and shared their expertise to ensure that the research papers published in 2016 were of high quality. The following individuals reviewed research papers submitted from 2014 through 2016.

Lisa Ashley
Diane Billay
Anne Brockenshire
Kate Burkholder
Elizabeth Domm
Elsie Duff
Patricia Elliott-Miller
Petra Gabriel
Lan Gien
Louise Gomez
Sonya Jakubec
Rosa Jakubowicz
Kristen Jones-Bonofiglio
Geraldine (Jody) Macdonald
Ruth Martin-Misener
Meg McDonagh
Wendy Muckle
Josephine Muxlow
Cheryl Pollard
Josette Roussel
Karey Shuhendler

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