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AJN On the Cover

American Journal of Nursing: February 2012 - Volume 112 - Issue 2 - p 22
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000411169.56492.05
AJN On the Cover


On this month's cover is a photograph of AJN contributing editor Megen Duffy's father and grandmother at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. The photograph was taken last September by Duffy herself after her father was hospitalized because of complications following bone marrow transplantation for multiple myeloma. The chemotherapy he received for the transplantation had caused severe neuropathic pain in his hands and feet.

Duffy has been taking photos of her dad since he was diagnosed with cancer in May 2011. But on this visit, “I took more than usual,” she says, “because I didn't think he would live through the hospitalization. I wanted to capture as many moments as I could.”

Duffy's grandmother has always been an important figure in her life as well. She had been rubbing her son's hand lightly, “in the hope that it would help with the pain,” says Duffy. “But the slight pressure hurt him too much, so she just sat there and held his hand.”

This scene of her father and grandmother is “personally poignant,” Duffy says. “It epitomizes for me what I do as a nurse: help people and their families handle illness. When I look at this photograph, I see not just my own father and grandmother, but also all the family members I've seen sit at the bedsides of dying loved ones, holding their hands and praying for a miracle. Because at some point that's all that's left to do.”

Megen Duffy, BA, BSN, RN, CEN, works in an ED at a community hospital in the Midwest and is a board member of the Kansas State Nurses Association. Her first career as a freelance medical editor and writer led to the development of two blogs: Not Nurse Ratched ( and Online LPN to RN ( She is also the author of AJN's social media column, iNurse.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.