1. Section Editor(s): Rodts, Mary Faut DNP, CNP, ONC, FAAN
  2. Editor

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As I sit here thinking about this issue of the journal, I cannot help but think about the past weeks' tragedies in Boston and West, Texas. The more information that comes to light regarding the incidents, the more we have learned about the victims, survivors, families, and responders. What we have come to learn is that despite pure evil in this world, there is also tremendous love and heroism that has been unquestionable.

Mary Faut Rodts, DNP... - Click to enlarge in new windowMary Faut Rodts, DNP, CNP, ONC, FAAN Editor

The story of a little girl who lost her brother and her leg; the dancer who vows to dance again despite her own loss of limb; the mother who lost both of her lower limbs and almost lost her daughter. These are just a few of the stories that have surfaced and there are many more that have yet to be told. What we do know is the heroic acts that occurred to save all of the injured out on the street, at the factory, in the emergency tent, ambulances, and hospitals was amazing. People with no healthcare experience did things to save lives that they never thought in their lifetimes they would need to do. Although we mourn the loss of life without all of those who stepped in to help, the loss of life could have even been higher.


The healthcare workers who were staffing the emergency tents thought that what they would be managing that day was the usual marathon problems. No thought would have even occurred that they would need to manage "battlefield"-type wounds. I have tried to put myself in their place and wonder if I could have ever been so courageous.


Or those early responders in West who rushed into the blazing plant to save lives just to lose their own. This was the greatest sacrifice one could have made for his neighbor.


It is obviously coincidental that in this issue of Orthopaedic Nursing we are publishing the third edition of the NAON Scope and Standards of Orthopaedic Nursing Practice, pages 139-152. The importance of this document and the practice that it guides underscores the real meaning of the skills that were required in Boston and West, TX. There is no question that the knowledge that the nurses who have been providing care to all of the injured must be based on unique competencies and skills. Without that expertise, care is suboptimal and outcomes are compromised.


It behooves all of us to carefully read the NAON Scope and Standards of Orthopaedic Nursing Practice, 3rd Edition 2013, and I would go so far as to advise to take the CE test. We must be guided by the standards of our specialty to be sure that the quality of our care is the best it can be. Right now seems like the perfect time to refresh our minds and knowledge. I know we all hope that tragedies such as this never occur again; however, a similar severe orthopaedic injury from whatever cause to any singular individual requires our skills. Knowing that we, as orthopaedic nurses, possess the necessary knowledge and skills to care for catastrophic and life-changing trauma whenever and wherever it may occur is something that we cannot ignore. Our skills as orthopaedic nurses must always be at the highest level.


Finally, to all of our NAON members who have been involved in the care that has saved lives and will help these patients resume their new lives, thank you. You are NAON's heroes and we are very proud!