By the time many of you read this, it will be the middle of fall. But because of the way our publishing schedule comes together, I find myself writing this in midsummer. In fact, it’s been above 95°F everyday this week, because the Washington D.C. area is under a serious heat wave. Summer is often about keeping cool, having lazy days (sometimes in the air conditioning!), and having summer vacations. Unfortunately, the summer season is also one of sunburns and sun damage. How many of you have seen numerous sunburns this year, despite the feeling that you have told every person you’ve encountered to wear SPF? It seems that every time I turn on the television, flip open a magazine, or browse the Internet, I see articles discussing sun safety and sunscreen use. How can people be missing the message?
I started working in dermatology 12 years ago. By my calculations (aside from the week I had strep throat and didn’t leave my house), this means I have personally worn sunscreen for 4,380 days in a row, plus a few days for leap years. This is probably one of the longest lasting positive habits I have ever continuously kept up with. I do this not only for my own health (and to be fair, for my own beauty) but also because I think it is important for dermatology nurses to demonstrate good behaviors. To this end, I have also started carrying in my car not just one but two hats with brims, just in case I find myself spending time outdoors when I wasn’t planning to. The second hat is for a friend who may not have thought ahead either. Just the other day, I actually used an umbrella to protect me from the sun as I crossed a very large field on the way to an event. Okay, so to be perfectly honest, maybe that one was just to protect me from the heat of the sun itself, but I felt good knowing it was also protecting me from ultraviolet rays!
What are you, as a dermatology nurse, doing to encourage good behaviors? I am interested to hear from you, our readers, to see what messages you are giving not only your patients but also your family, friends, and acquaintances. What measures do you personally take to protect your skin and demonstrate good sun safety practices? I’d love for you to share with me the tricks you use to get people to practice sun-safe behaviors. E-mail me at: email@example.com
Speaking of summertime, I recently returned from vacation. I drove up and down the mid-Atlantic area with my parents, with most of our time spent in Virginia and Tennessee. One of our first stops was at the Natural Bridge in Virginia (www.naturalbridgeva.com). I had been there before, but that was over 30 years ago. This 20-story-high, limestone natural wonder is set in the Shenandoah Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Figure 1). In the midst of all this natural beauty, I started thinking about our journal, the JDNA, and how it can serve as a bridge of a different kind. I see the JDNA as a conduit for knowledge and as a forum where dermatology nurses and dermatology professionals can bridge the gap between research and practice and between practice and our patients. As the official journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association, it is our job to serve as a ‘bridge’ between the dermatology knowledge available and the needs of our members and subscribers. There are two parts to that: We need to know what you would like to know more about and read more about, but we also need you, as the authorities in dermatology nursing, to become authors of manuscripts and share your expertise.
As you may be aware, in part to make this process more exciting, the JDNA, in conjunction with our publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, is offering three writing awards this year. Help us with bridging the gap between your knowledge and our readers’ interest by having your manuscript published in 2012 and you can be eligible for one of the three $250 prizes. The three award categories are best clinical article, best research article, and most viewed article on www.JDNAonline.com. The award winners will be announced at the 2013 31st Annual DNA Conference in New Orleans, LA.
I’d like to introduce you to someone who is helping the JDNA and the field of dermatology nursing to grow; Sarah Neider, a medical assistant and dermatology patient care team lead from Ohio, has joined the editorial board of JDNA. We are enthusiastic she has joined the leadership of our journal and look forward to her many contributions. Through her work with us, we are hoping she can give a larger voice to the role of the medical assistant in dermatology nursing and give perspective on office dynamics from a leadership position. Ms. Neider says, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Journal and my fellow board members to provide exceptional educational resources for all levels of dermatology nursing.” Welcome, Sarah; we are glad you have joined us.
Lastly, in this issue, you will also see that our current DNA president, Trudy Adams, has written a guest editorial. I thank her for sharing this story with us. In this story, she shares how nurses are known to exemplify “highly valued caring human attributes, personal characteristics, scientific knowledge, and professional skills,” and she reflects on how to prepare and mentor the next generation of nurses. We think that becoming involved with JDNA and sharing your dermatology nursing expertise is a great way to participate in this process. I encourage you to take action in this endeavor, for the next generation of dermatology nurses needs you and your knowledge.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Angela L. Borger