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Prevention—What Is Your Strategy?

Doyle, Karen E. MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0b013e3181ca075b
Guest Editorial
Free

Karen E. Doyle, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, is Vice President, Nursing and Operations, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, Baltimore, Maryland.

Corresponding Author: Karen E. Doyle, MBA, MS, RN, NEA-BC, 22 S. Greene St, Room T3R36, Baltimore, MD 21201 (kdoyle@umm.edu).

Failing to Prepare, You Are Preparing to Fail”

—Benjamin Franklin

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”—isn't that how the saying goes. It is interesting how clichés are crafted and yet still remain so very true today. Nurses have been ardent supporters of prevention and preparedness—dating back to our founder, Florence Nightingale. Even today, Ms Nightingale's theories and practices on prevention of infection remain solid.

As you read this issue on prevention, you will be inspired by the innovation that trauma nurses across the country continue in “Ms. Nightingale's path.” Trauma nurses are known for their fearless leadership and commitment to public service. Even as we care for the sickest of the sick, we inspire and demonstrate innovation by our commitment to designing prevention programs that will reduce or minimize the severity of trauma. We strive ardently to foster environments that promote health and prevent disease and injury.

In this issue, you are going to read several terrific articles on innovative programs that are designed to reduce the incidence of injury: mock crashes, fall prevention, and tips for success in injury prevention to name a few. As you review these articles, seize the opportunity to implement these initiatives in your own environment. Use these examples to craft programs of your own.

It strikes me that in the current environment on healthcare reform our efforts must be focused on prevention. While we need to continue to focus on the curative component of medicine, we as nurses need to continue to be strong proponents and advocates of prevention strategies that improve the health and welfare of all. It is imperative that we as individuals and professional organizations work with our legislators, business partners, and communities to design prevention measures that minimize the time spent in a hospital. The time is now for our voices to be heard and for us to be leaders in healthcare reform.

I am also ever so cognizant of our need to be role models for prevention. So frequently nurses take the time to care for all others including their family, but do not take time to care for themselves. As we continue to work in increasingly stressful environments, I am asking each of you to make a pact to care for yourself and to engage in those prevention activities that promote and encourage healthy living. I encourage you to take pointers from the article on “15 tips for success in injury prevention” to creating your own “15 tips for success in illness prevention.” What does this mean...it means take the plunge to quit smoking, limit alcohol intake, engage in health eating, exercise, and have fun! Restore your energy to trauma nursing by taking an assessment regarding compassion fatigue and develop some strategies to combat this very real phenomenon. As we continue to be creative with prevention programs for others, I encourage you to be creative with you...take time to take care of you. If not you...then who?

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.