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From the Editor

FROM THE EDITOR - Professionalism


Dear Readers,

I came across another used bookstore find recently – Cherry Ames Visiting Nurse. Depending on your age, you may remember this series of books for girls. There were 27 books in all, written between 1943 and 1968 by Helen Wells (books 1-7) and Julie Campbell Tatham (books 8-16). The original intent was to bolster the war effort by encouraging girls and young women to become nurses. Cherry (short for Charity) is the central figure in each volume. The first two volumes highlight Cherry’s years at Spencer Hospital School of Nursing. After graduation Cherry takes on the world! She’s an army nurse, flight nurse, cruise nurse, jungle nurse – you name it. Each book revolves around Cherry’s nursing role and a mystery that unfolds (which of course, she solves). Cherry Ames Visiting Nurse was published in 1947, after World War II had ended. Cherry, now free of her commitment to the war effort, applied to and was accepted by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. She packed her bags and moved to Greenwich Village. Dressed in her neat blue uniform and cap, Cherry was the essence of professionalism. At orientation, a visiting nurse was described to Cherry and her coworkers: 



She’s the girl in blue you’ll meet hurrying over a country road in her little car to care for a sick farm child. Or you’ll find her down at the waterfront nursing a stricken barge captain. She’s the girl who’s welcomed with a sigh of relief by a sick mother and her five, small bewildered children (Wells, 1947, p. 37.).




Cherry Ames settled into her assigned district. With her smart blue uniform, she was instantly recognized and respected by the community she served. Living with several other visiting nurses allowed Cherry and her friends to share lessons learned, exchange tips, and review their instructions on topics such as care of the newborn and family budgeting. Ever tactful and intuitive, she solved the mystery lurking in the old Victorian mansion.

I can’t help but think how similar Cherry’s situation in late 1940’s New York is to that of the nurse midwives in the British Broadcasting Corporation’s wildly popular show Call the Midwife. Set in 1950’s London, the midwives live together in a convent with an order of nursing nuns. They provide care to poor families living in London’s impoverished east end.  The series is based on true stories from the diary of Nurse Jenny Lee, whose character narrates the episodes. The nurse midwives in this show, like Cherry Ames and colleagues, are dressed in smart blue tailored uniforms with matching hats. They bike to the east end, delivering babies, providing care and education, and consoling the bereaved. They always seem to know what to do in difficult situations, saying just the right thing, whether it be a stillborn, a sick child, marital troubles, or a difficult pregnancy. They are clinically adept, earning the admiration and confidence of the local physician and the community. 

What a welcome relief from other television series that depict healthcare workers in a more negative light. Nurse Jackie for example. Jackie has a substance abuse problem, fueled by the hospital pharmacist who hands it to her like candy.  Surrounded by enablers, the emergency department supervisor looks the other way, even discarding Jackie’s urine specimen, while the emergency department physicians write her more prescriptions.

What has been your experience with professionalism in your agency and your discipline?  Is there a respectable, professional dress code?  Is it followed and enforced? Do your co-workers embrace ongoing education in their discipline, or do they complain about having to attend mandatory in-service education? Do they insist on high work standards for themselves and others? Do they have a career orientation or a job orientation? Is their work based on ethics and integrity? Tell us how things are with your discipline. What can we do to promote professionalism in home healthcare?  Email me at: HHNEDitor@gmail.com.

This issue is packed with fantastic articles. Managing transitions of care across the healthcare continuum is such an important topic in terms of quality of care and patient safety. Two articles this month focus on this important topic. Authors Volland and Blockberger highlight the important concepts of patient engagement and patient activation in their article Closing the Transition Gaps: The Changing Context of Healthcare Coordination. Jennifer Fels and colleagues relate how their medical center in Vermont developed Clinical Nurse Specialists as experts in transitional care in their article The Journey of the Clinical Nurse Specialist to Transitional Care. Author and editorial board member Mary McGoldrick brings us the latest guideline for management of the individual in the home suspected of having exposure to the Ebola virus. Dr. Colleen Galambos and colleagues conducted a qualitative study to explore staff perceptions of social work students in independent living facilities, and new author Victoria Villapando reminds us to care for the caregiver in this month’s CE feature. These and all the usual columns bringing you the latest in home healthcare and hospice practice.

Best regards,

Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN


Home Health News

The Home HealthCare News offers up-to-date information that we want you, the subscribers of Home Healthcare Nurse to know about and soon! These may be government initiatives, web sites with important information, new publications, and more! If you know of an item that might fit this section e-mail Ryan Brophy at ryan.brophy@wolterskluwer.com.



Call For Manuscripts

Home Healthcare Now is a refereed, interprofessional journal published 10 times/year. The goal of Home Healthcare Now is to bring up-to-date and practical articles to home care and hospice providers of all disciplines involved in home healthcare. Manuscripts undergo review by the editor and members of the journal review team. Topics include practice-oriented clinical topics, original research, literature reviews, manuscripts that describe quality improvement projects, innovations or new approaches to patient care, and case studies.
Query letters are welcome but not required.  Email the editor at HHNEditor@gmail.com
Manuscripts should follow the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition.

Future of Home Health
The Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation has announced the Future of Home Health Project. It is a research-based strategic planning for the future of home healthcare. They want to hear your ideas.  Visit the future of Home Health website at: http://ahhqi.org/home-health/future-project and send your ideas to futureofhh@ahhqi.org
Hospice & Bereavement Conference

The Art for Charlie Foundation is convening Michigan’s first-ever Pediatric Hospice and Bereavement Conference on Saturday, Nov. 1 in East Lansing.

Registration is $35, which includes breakfast and lunch, to attend the full day of sessions. 

Accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night is available at special rates at the Marriott at University Place, East Lansing through the link on the Art for Charlie website.

Please visit the website or email info@artforcharlie.org for more information.

Omaha System

The Omaha System International Conference will be held in Eagan, MN April 15-18, 2015.  The conference is held every two years and is intended for individuals who use or intend to use the Omaha System in  health practice, education, research, or inclusion in IT documentation system.

Guidelines for submission of poster abstracts and details regarding workshop registration can be found at www.omahasystem.org/conferences.html.

Poster abstracts are due 1/31/15 with notification sent by 2/28/15. 

Email abstracts to lchoromanski@gillettechildrens.com.

Maureen Anthony, PhD, RN

ISSN: 2374-4529

Online ISSN: 2374-4537

Frequency: 10 issues / year

Celebrating Diversity

To comemmorate the 100th anniversary of Abington Memorial Hospital and the Dixon School of Nursing, read the May 2014 supplement celebrating diversity among home healthcare nurses and interdisciplinary staff.