AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
I appreciate author Elaine G. Jordan's honesty and I can relate to the turmoil she describes in "Baring Witness" (Reflections, December 2009).
I'm not a nurse—I'm a library specialist who reads many of the periodicals that our college library receives. But I volunteer to work with the elderly, so I understand the dilemma of seeing people in pain or discomfort and not being able to do anything about it. It's heart wrenching.
I was overwhelmed after a recent experience at a nursing home and have since hesitated to return to my usual amount of volunteering. This article, however, has helped me to accept that we can't do everything, can't fix everything. Yes, it's a "complex, shadowed world," but we must do our best. The people who are suffering still need us.
San Angelo, TX
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