Despite all of the changes imposed this year by the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), we have made it to the season when most of us count our blessings and are grateful for what we have. In a year that has brought major changes to healthcare—with so many people in the world becoming infected, falling ill, and unfortunately dying—it may seem strange to some that we are counting our blessings and reflecting on what we are thankful for. Nonetheless, here
Here are the top 10 things we are thankful for:
- Our families are hopefully healthy and well.
- In a time when the promise of the future is so needed, we give thanks for the safe births of new babies including Alice Ryan, Aurora Bree, and Siena Jade and the promise of others to come in 2021!
- Our colleagues working exceptionally long, hard hours are well. Some are very fatigued from the changes in their workload and even assignments to other work units. Some are thinner, others are heavier; their faces and hair lay bare the intensity of life under PPE.
- Expressions of gratitude and appreciation from the public to all healthcare workers have become visible.
- Technology has enabled us to conduct virtual visits and safely consult with persons in need of care.
- Authors and peer reviewers are writing, submitting, and reviewing manuscripts, including some about their experience with COVID-19. We particularly acknowledge all who (despite their work schedules) somehow found the time to share their first-hand knowledge of COVID-19, patient observations, and solutions to new care challenges. We are so appreciative of the peer reviewers who put in extra time to perform blinded peer reviews. With so many submissions, not all of these quality manuscripts can appear in the print journal, so we are also grateful that our journal can publish accepted articles online. Please do check out this month’s online exclusives: https://journals.lww.com/aswcjournal/Pages/currenttoc.asp; all of the articles are free to read.
- Thanks to virtual conferences, learning has continued. The variety of conferences, webinars, podcasts, and more has made new and continuing education possible (even though we are disappointed that we have not seen many of our professional colleagues since March). We appreciate the speakers, societies, associations, and companies who took the time to make virtual education possible. For example, please do check out our partner organization’s WCET Worldwide Education Day Webinar (https://wceteducation.org), which is open from October 28 to November 30. We also look forward to attending the American Professional Wound Care Association’s Wound Week 2021 virtual conference. No doubt, we are grateful for the sponsors whose financial support enables these events and continuing education opportunities.
- We relish our next challenge, which is to compensate for any in-person deficits with new ways of teaching and learning about skin and wound care, using educational videos, and challenging students to duplicate skills, make their own virtual presentations, and demonstrate personal competencies.
- We appreciate opportunities to continue to earn CE/CME credits that some of us need for license and/or certification renewals. Our CE/CME article this month is on lymphedema. Just as COVID-19 has become a challenge to our whole society, lymphedema creates struggles for affected individuals every day postdiagnosis, and even before the disability is adequately diagnosed—or worse—inadequately treated! These patients often have limited mobility and must contend with heavy support stockings and garments that are a challenge to put on every morning. They are subjected to pain and infections, bear the high cost of assistive devices, and often need custom garments that are expensive and short-lived. The CE/CME article gives the reader some new insights into lymphedema diagnosis and treatment to minimize patient suffering.
- And last not but least, thank you to you, our readers, for your loyal support of Advances and for using the knowledge and research that we publish as an evidence base for your practice to improve patient care outcomes.
Even though this year has brought many challenges, we hope you too will reflect on your own personal thank-you list. Best wishes always,
Elizabeth A. Ayello, PhD, MS, BSN, RN, CWON, ETN, MAPWCA, FAAN
R. Gary Sibbald, MD, DSc (Hons), MEd, BSc, FRCPC (Med Derm), FAAD, MAPWCA, JM