1. Section Editor(s): Witt, Catherine L. MS, RN, NNP-BC

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Thanking Those Who Make Your Job Easier

Everyday when we go to work, we expect certain things to be in place, or to be done, or to be ready. We assume that we will have a clean warmer ready to admit the next baby. We expect that the trash will be emptied and that there will be clean blankets with which to swaddle an infant. Central supply will be stocked with necessary equipment. The cafeteria will have food available. Soap and water are available for hand washing. The pharmacy will deliver our medications in time for us to administer them to your patients. The computer will work smoothly (OK, well maybe not all of the time). All of these things are necessary for patient care, but we often take them for granted. We go through our day without even noticing them, until something is not available, or something does not happen the way it is supposed to. Then we are quick to look around to see who is responsible for that particular thing, and who did not do what we expected them to do. We are quick to pick up the phone with righteous indignation and complain to the laboratory, the pharmacy, central supply, and the nurse manager. After all, these are essential functions that have to happen for quality patient care. We cannot do our job as nurses without everyone else around us doing their job. So, we feel quite justified in making a fuss when something is not done the way it needs to be.


Because we depend on so many support people around us, should we not let them know when something is wrong? The argument can certainly be made that something cannot be fixed if no one knows about it. For any institution to run smoothly feedback is important, and we must always be looking at ways to make things run better. However, how often have you heard your colleagues remark that "no one ever tells us what we do well, only what we do wrong." Thinking about that, how often have you gone out of your way to thank those around you who make your life easier?


Who empties the trash in your unit? Do you even know their name? Have you thanked them? Who delivers supplies? Who prepares the medications and parental nutrition? How do these things get to the unit? What about the patient's meals? In the 1942 edition of "State Board Questions and Answers," there is an entire chapter devoted to cooking.1 It describes how to make infant cereal, how to remove the casein of milk, how to brew a cup of tea, how to cook potatoes, and the making of "albumin water," a concoction made from an egg white and cold water. It was not clear how this was used, but it was clear that nurses did a fair amount of food preparation in their daily activities. The most enlightening part was that the food tray should be "Covered with fine linen damask and attractive china and glassware should be used."1(p511) With this in mind, who prepares the meals for the patients in your hospital?


This is a time of year that we are encouraged to think of others. Think about the people in your work setting who do that tremendous amount of work and often go unseen and unrecognized. Find out their names and thank them for all the work that they do to care for the patients and other staff members. Think about how you can make their life easier for a change.


Like most journals, Advances in Neonatal Care could not be published without a lot of people behind the scenes that make it happen. Our colleagues at Lippincott Williams and Wilkins work hard to get each issue out on time, with the articles the way the authors and editors intended them to be. The editorial board you see listed on the masthead help recruit articles, mentor new writers, and review manuscripts. In addition, our peer reviewers who are listed below spend many hours reviewing manuscripts for accuracy and readability, providing valuable feedback to authors. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mitty Spidel, who has served for the past 5 years as managing editor, and welcome Jaclyn Welton, who is taking on this role beginning with this issue. The managing editor plays a pivotal role in making sure submissions are complete, assisting authors, and keeping things on track. Please join me in thanking all of those who make each issue of Advances in Neonatal Care the best it can be.




1. Gillam SM. Nutrition and diet therapy. In: Foote JA ed. State Board Questions and Answers for Nurses. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott Company; 1942:473-559. [Context Link]