Treating spinal cord compression
In “Understanding Spinal Cord Compression” (September 2016), the definitions for vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are inaccurate. Both use cement, but unlike vertebroplasty, kyphoplasty includes balloon tamponade. The article was given to my nursing students to read for my class and the discrepancy was noted by one of my students because it conflicted with our text. I use many of your articles in my Adult Medical Surgical nursing course to enhance my students' learning.
—CHRISTINE D'AMBROSIO, MS, RN, ACNS-BC
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y.
The author responds: You are correct, both procedures do use cement. Kyphoplasty also incorporates the use of a balloon tamponade system. Vertebroplasty, which is less technically challenging, can be performed in less time and does not involve a balloon system. Kudos to the student who identified the discrepancy and thank you for the opportunity to clarify.
—ROBERTA KAPLOW, PHD, APRN-CCNS, AOCNS, CCRN
Rosen HN, Walega DR. Osteoporotic thoracolumbar vertebral compression fractures: clinical manifestations and treatment. UpToDate. 2018. http://www.uptodate.com.
Expand shadowing experiences
“Walk a Day in My Shoes: Enhancing Collaboration with a Shadowing Program” (October 2018) illustrates how a nurse shadowing program can create greater empathy among nurses who work in different departments, leading to improved patient outcomes and higher job satisfaction for nurses. This topic could be explored further in a program with a larger sample size. A teaching institution might be able to provide more shadowing experiences. I also recommend sharing the administrators' shadowing experiences with nursing staff and leadership. Feedback from administrators would be beneficial for clinical nurses and nurse leaders alike.
—ANDREA AROCHE, BSN, RN
Objections to safe injection sites
“Making the Case for Harm Reduction Programs for Injection Drug Users” (June 2018) calls the establishment of safe injection sites a “harm reduction program.” I label it “enabling” or “aiding and abetting.” I believe this venue will be used when convenient; otherwise, it will be business as usual, and all will be lost for HIV protection. I will never participate in these programs because they violate everything that empowers me as a nurse and undermine the integrity of my profession.
—JESSICA VAN ESSENDELFT, RN