This is the time of year that is perhaps my favorite. While many consider it the busiest, it is also the time to spend with your friends and families. During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we often focus on spending time with those who are most important in our lives.
As trauma nurses, we would be remiss if we did not think about injury prevention during this time of year. The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but can also be tragic. Motor vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death. During this holiday season, make sure you are taking steps to protect your loved ones and yourself. The following are just a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for this holiday season (CDC, 2017):
- Use a seat belt in every seat, on every trip, no matter how short.
- Make sure children are always properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt, whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight.
- Choose not to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, and help others do the same.
- Obey speed limits.
- Drive without distractions (such as using a cell phone or texting).
In our fall edition of the journal, my message focused on reflecting and growing. As we conclude the calendar year, it is important that we recognize the great work that the Society of Trauma Nurses (STN) has taken on. While 2018 was not without its challenges, we have accomplished many things.
The Journal of Trauma Nursing (JTN) has been an integral part of the STN for over 20 years. As the official journal of the STN, the JTN provides original, peer-reviewed, research, and evidence-based articles and information. These articles focus on ensuring that we provide the highest standard of care for our trauma patients. We are excited to share that we have successfully renegotiated a contract with our publisher, Wolters Kluwer. Our renewed agreement will provide many benefits to our members. We will continue to receive six issues; however, instead of four issues being in print and two online, all six issues will be available in print. In addition, we will now be able to provide CE at no cost to our members. Wolters Kluwer has shown a commitment to the STN, and we are excited to continue our partnership. As a profession, nursing research must be the foundation to improving the outcomes of our trauma patients (Tingen, Burnett, Murchsion, & Zhu, 2009).
Your STN Board of Directors just wrapped up our fall in-person board meeting. One of our biggest priorities was the review and revision of our strategic plan. As our organization continues to grow, so does our vision and goal. I am proud to share that we have met many of our previous goals and are excited to take the next step as an organization. We continue to remain committed to advocacy, education, leadership, research, and alliance building. Our strategic planning will help us to build a structure to provide direction for the work that we are doing, and ensure that we are maximizing the impact that we are having to both the patients we serve and those that serve them (Strategic Planning, 2009).
Our international council continues to gain momentum. Previously, we shared that the STN had provided trauma nursing education for the European Trauma Society and Pan-American Trauma Congress. We also coordinated the nursing track for the World Trauma Congress. These initiatives have helped to cement our commitment to providing education across the globe.
As nurses, we all know that advocacy is one of our biggest roles. Advocacy is an important part of the STN as well. For the first time, the STN was able to offer Stop the Bleed training at the National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit. This meeting had over 4,000 national and international attendees. Like many of our members, we found that this training resonated with many legislators and we hope will lead to legislative support of trauma centers. Engaging our legislators in initiatives that focus on patient care, such as Stop the Bleed, is an important step, which will allow us to expand our agenda to include issues that are important to the trauma community (Kaplan, Barquist, Jenkins, & Kirton, 2017).
We could take this entire issue to share all of the great work that is happening within the STN. Our STN board continues to focus on the growth of the organization. We could not have accomplished any of our goals without you. Our membership remains vested in the success of the organization. Thank you to our members, the countless volunteers, our dedicated board of directors, and the entire STN staff. On behalf of the entire Society of Trauma Nurses organization, I want to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. 2018 has been a phenomenal year and 2019 will be the even better!
Kaplan L. J., Barquist E., Jenkins D., Kirton O. (2017). Advocacy efforts in trauma and acute care surgery: learning to walk. Trauma Surgery & Acute Care Open, 2(1), e000077. http://doi.org/10.1136/tsaco-2017-000077
Tingen M. S., Burnett A. H., Murchison R. B., Zhu H. (2009). The importance of nursing research. The Journal of Nursing Education, 48(3), 167–170.