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The Gift of Time

Gould, Kathleen Ahern, RN, MSN, PhD

Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing: May/June 2019 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 121–122
doi: 10.1097/DCC.0000000000000359
DEPARTMENTS: Editorial
Free

Editor-in-Chief, Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Give time, my Mom would say. If I could, I would gift her more years, even a single day. Her gifts of time have served me well and alerted me to the value of time well spent with others. She once gave me a book entitled A Gift of Time, which is a collection of essays that help me carry her memory. Moreover, it reminds me that I am forever grateful for the time gifted to me as I navigated my professional life—perhaps those few extra moments given by a preceptor who made sure I understood how a pacemaker or drug affected my patients' cardiac output, or those precious moments gifted by a professor, guiding me toward a new challenge—gifting time by mentoring, editing, and teaching. The gift that one receives from an editor or generous peer reviewer, as they spend hours reading, and rereading, then explaining in precise detail how an author might make the manuscript stronger, is profound.

In this issue, the gift of time is palpable. Each article reveals collaboration between students and professors, colleagues and mentors, and unique writing teams supported by academic medical centers and individuals. Each manuscript reflects the support and encouragement received from administration, coauthors, and work groups. As I work with authors, research teams, and writing groups, I see the invisible become visible. This issue is somewhat unique; every article is collaboration. The time spent on collaborative work, mentoring, and final editing was demonstrable.

As I worked authors in this issue, I felt the generosity of spirit and came to know more about the relationships forged during the research, mentorships, and writing process. Research projects, quality improvement work, and deep reviews of existing literature take significant time and effort. This is evident in the work presented in this issue. I thank this group of authors for their timely efforts and commitment to each other and this journal. Much of the work in this issue will be presented at the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) National Teaching Institute (NTI) and in international forums this year as the authors continue to share their expertise and time—their gift keeps giving.

Many of you are giving the gift of time. Perhaps this month, you are sending some of your staff to the AACN NTI or mentoring someone in your clinical unit. One of you may be guiding a young professional toward a job interview or new endeavor. These moments are precious and often rare. Yet, your gift will endure and perhaps move someone forward personally and professionally. At a professional conference, you will see nurses spend a few moments talking with a speaker. Often, you will see an aspiring author meet with an editor. Each corner of the convention center will have clusters of people, generously sharing their knowledge and offering the gift of time. Familiar refrains include “call me,” “send me an e-mail,” and “I'd love to help you or your unit with this project.” You may witness time being gifted! It is spent freely and passionately, often with the promise of more upon request.

We are grateful to the writing teams who share their expertise in this issue of DCCN. Dr Kelly Powers and colleagues bring their work to the NTI once again, this time encouraging preceptorship and supporting collegial relationships. Dr Jean Connor and her nurse scholar group from Children's Hospital in Boston continue to amaze me with their generous gifts of time and commitment to moving staff toward research and professional publication. A coauthor in this group, Dr Patricia Hickey, will receive the 2019 Distinguished Researcher Award at the NTI. On this journey, she had mentored and supported more nurses than one can image. I vision many virtual gift boxes floating from her orbit—she has been a generous mentor and teacher. Dr Cynthia Oster mentors graduate students and advance practice staff. She is a generous professor and nurse scientist, publishing with coauthor Carmencita Lorenzo Lewis, as they bring new knowledge to the problem of alarm fatigue in DCCN, and presenting this work on an international stage in Dublin Ireland at the Royal College of Surgeons. Eva R. Kurniawati and Dr Patrick Weerwind provide a model for interdisciplinary collaboration on a massive undertaking—taking time to show us a global view of extracorporeal support. Loai Tawalbeh shares her team's experience and challenges in nursing education, an international perspective that informs and educates. Wendy Yan and her team address the epidemic of delirium, using a Quality Improvement Model to improve outcomes for patients and guiding us toward new solutions to address this complex issue.

This issue is a gift of time, one that may encourage you to regift time. Often, I want to wrap up time and hand it to a student who wonders if he/she will ever get a job or to a nurse who wonders if he/she could ever teach or write professionally. I imagine that they would unwrap the time gift and the see the possibilities. They would see themselves grow strong and competent among a group of colleagues and friends who will give them gifts of time. They will encounter patients who will teach them more than they ever could learn in a classroom. And most of all, they will find a place in medicine that allows them to gift time to others as they precept new staff, review professional manuscripts, consider continued education and exciting new roles, and commit to building a wonderful life and career.

This entire issue reflects the work of teams, committed to spending time with each other, and time addressing our reviewer's comments. This is yeoman's work, possible only with the commitment of time. As you read this issue, visit the AACN NTI or spend time with a colleague this spring, enjoy giving and receiving the gift of time.

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