An event from my junior year pediatric rotation left a big impression. I observed nurses in the pediatric intensive care unit caring for a patient hospitalized due to a drug overdose. The patient was comatose and on a ventilator. One particular nurse sat at the nurse's station loudly discussing the patient's condition, adding her personal opinion that no additional efforts should be made to care for this patient because the state was paying for the care.
"Recently I admitted a patient whose circumstances were as undignified as I've ever encountered," writes JCN editor Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner. "He was a mess: unkempt, smelly, psychotic, obese, and in cardiopulmonary distress . . .
"After a stretch of challenging shifts, a question plagued me: How do I sustain excellence in this intense work of nursing?" writes Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner in her JCN editorial, "Sustaining Excellence."