As I write this, I remember that, just a week ago, I was touring around Epcot Center (Figure 1) as part of my time of relaxation in Orlando after the Dermatology Nurses’ Association’s (DNA) annual conference at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort (Figure 2). This year’s theme for the annual DNA conference was “Transforming and Evolving: Believing in Change,” which I think is a good complement to our being in Orlando. Apparently, EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It strikes me that the underlying themes and messaging for both our annual conference and for Epcot involve looking forward while showing growth and change. According to Wikipedia: “In Walt Disney’s words: ‘EPCOT will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing, and testing, and demonstrating new materials and new systems.’” Can’t it be said that the world of dermatology and dermatology nursing is also looking for new ideas and new technologies…emerging from the creative centers…demonstrating new materials and new systems? When I think about the innovative changes in dermatology and the practice of dermatology nursing, I am excited and hopeful for our profession. I would like to celebrate all the creative and innovative work we, as dermatology nurses, are doing, and a small part of me would like to think Walt Disney himself would approve!
As I furiously typed (notice I said typed and not scribbled—I am getting more technology savvy!) notes during the Nurse Practitioner (NP) Forum and the annual DNA meeting, I thought about how it would have been nice to be able to attend all of the concurrent sessions. Don’t you always feel like you may be missing out on something going on in another session? With that in mind, I thought I would share some of the key points mentioned in the sessions I attended. In complete contrast to what you will see in our Journal pages, these aren’t referenced, but they are just a snapshot of what I heard. Here we go:
- When you see hair loss and oral lesions, think syphilis.
- The United States may be on track to see a gonorrhea epidemic.
- If your patient has one STD, he or she may have another, and you need to look.
- Tobacco use increases the risk of acquiring genital warts.
- If you see a patient with Paget’s disease, the patient deserves a work up for a GI or GU malignancy.
- A “bumpy ulcer” is SCC until proven otherwise.
- Botulism toxin can help with Hailey–Hailey disease.
- Bites on the human genitals can cause rapid painful ulcers and require immediate care.
- An option for canker sores is to try sublingual vitamin B-12—1000 mcg per day.
- And an option for HSV is to try imiquimod onto the skin of lesion-free abdominal skin every night.
- Cryoanalgesia for postherpetic neuralgia may help.
- For people who tend to flush with public speaking, crushed ice in the cheek by the back molars, 30 minutes before, may help.
- Fexofenadine for alopecia areata is being used in other parts of the world, with some reported success.
- It takes 1,500 bee stings to kill an adult man.
- Humans are the host species for dengue fever.
- DEET eats plastic, so be careful with your watch.
- Fleas can jump 20 cm straight up.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever is more common in the SE United States.
- Fire ants will both sting and bite.
- Jellyfish bites are not helped by human urine—as the speaker said, “Don’t pee on your friend,” because it won’t help.
- There is a question if a tonsillectomy will help after a patient presents with guttate psoriasis.
- All blisters are not equal—you need more information to help the patient.
- If you see monomorphic acne, consider steroid acne.
- Be sure to check for lymphadenopathy and organomegaly with patients who present with pruritis.
My thanks and acknowledgements to the many speakers of the annual NP Forum and annual DNA conference from whom these bits of information come; I, along with my co-attendees this year, appreciate your sharing your time and expertise to help make us stronger dermatology nurses. Dear readers, what tips and tricks did you learn at the conference this year? Consider sharing with us what you learned—either via a LinkedIn discussion or via Twitter. I’d love to hear information from the sessions you attended because I haven’t figured out how to be in two places at once!
Also at the annual DNA conference, the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses’ Association (JDNA) had both our annual Writing Workshop and our annual Editorial Board meeting. I take this opportunity to brag that the Writing Workshop was fantastic this year, especially because of Chris Wilson, a JDNA Editorial Board member and educator extraordinaire. Thank you, Chris, for sharing your expertise. For those of you unable to join us for this year’s event, please consider joining us at next year’s workshop in Las Vegas—we have more of the same good content planned but also plan to switch it up just enough to make this a fun, innovative workshop for us all.
In addition, as part of the work of the Editorial Board, we meet in person once a year to strategize about the Journal and to plan for the upcoming year. As part of this planning, and as I know I’ve mentioned to you in the past, we are always looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals to serve on the Editorial Board of the journal. It is with great pleasure that I share with you the most recent four additions to the JDNA’s Editorial Board. The five newest members are Donna Lee Ettel, Jaclyn Goldberg, Katherine Leigh, Katrina Masterson, and Candace Short. Donna Lee Ettel has expertise in informatics, statistics, and health information technology. Jaclyn Goldberg is an NP working in a dermatology practice near Cleveland, Ohio; and Katrina Masterson, a long time DNA member, is an NP in a dermatology practice in Indiana. Katherine Leigh and Candace Short are assistant professors of nursing at Troy University in Troy, Alabama, and both have a great interest in educating children and youth about sun safety. Please join me in welcoming these new JDNA Editorial Board members as they help in the work to chart the course of the journal.
Looking ahead, just a reminder that Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, the Publisher of the JDNA, has again agreed to award three Writing Awards to JDNA authors in 2014. All articles published in the journal in 2014 are eligible for consideration, and I would love to personally give you one of these awards at next year’s annual DNA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. So, submit your article now, and maybe you’ll be on stage with me, celebrating excellence in writing about dermatology nursing!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Angela L. Borger