1. Borger, Angela L.

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One of the great characteristics about Dermatology Nurses' Association members and the Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (JDNA) readers is the diversity of our practices. Over the years, I have talked to our JDNA readers and know that no single practice is the same; some are smaller, nurse-practitioner-run practices, and some are large practices that are owned and operated by a large healthcare organization or university-based system. Consequently, on any given day, our readers are going to practices that have any number of structural configurations.

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Part of any organizational structure is the people who work there-you and your coworkers. Navigating the interpersonal office environment can be challenging sometimes. In writing this, I wanted to gain a better idea of how some of your practices actually run on a day-to-day basis. How does your office handle the nuances of interpersonal office communication? Is it formalized in some way? Are there subtle unwritten expectations for how you interact with coworkers? I am interested in this in particular because I have worked in several offices, each of which had a unique "personality" and one that I had to navigate as a person new to the organization.


I am definitely going to be the person who walks into a room at 7 P.M. and smiles and says "hello" and "good morning" and will be ready to start the day. I realize that not everyone is such a strong "morning person" and that I may have to change my approach with people who self-reportedly don't become fully human until after coffee and a few hours. I am sure you can see how these differences could become an issue in an office! As I said, I do try to temper my morning personality with those that don't appreciate that time of day as much as I do. And likewise, I try to not be too grumpy at 4 P.M. when my interpersonal energies may be running low and my coworkers' energies are just ramping up. How does this affect you and your practice? What experiences have you had, and how have you dealt with them? What advice might you give a new coworker joining the practice? Does occasionally bringing a dozen doughnuts help smooth over any differences?


Consideration of how we interact as coworkers has always been a strong interest of mine, in part because I think we are happier when we interact well with our colleagues and because I think patients notice. And doesn't that make for a better practice all around? I think patients can notice, either consciously or subconsciously, if the office is working as a team. From my experience, when my colleagues have communicated directly with me, outlining the small changes the office could make to help it run more smoothly has been very helpful. For my part, I stopped saying good morning to my one coworker quite so enthusiastically and found that the peace offering of breakfast foods never hurt! Again, I invite you to share with me what works for your office or, alternately, what didn't work and how you came to a resolution. I'd love to hear your stories and would welcome the learning opportunities of your experiences.


Speaking of learning opportunities, if you are not already a dermatology nurse certified or a dermatology certified nurse practitioner, have you considered taking the examination at our next conference in early 2018? The Dermatology Nurse Certification Board offers certification to those dermatology nurses who have met the eligibility criteria and passed a written examination. The certification is good for a 3-year period, and recertification can be through continuing education or repeat examination. According to the Dermatology Nurse Certification Board Web site, "Certification provides an added credential beyond licensure and demonstrates by examination that the Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner has acquired a core body of specialized knowledge and adheres to specialized nursing standards. It assures consumer protection and confers peer and public recognition to those individuals who prove proficient in their practice" (retrieved from I encourage you to think if this certification is right for you. You have plenty of time to start studying and be well prepared on the testing date.


On a related note, looking forward, we are getting ever closer to next year's Dermatology Nurses' Association convention, which will be held on February 14-17, 2018, at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA. The program planning committee has been working hard to ensure the educational offerings are just what you need to augment your practice. Won't you come and join us for this fun and education-filled event? We'd love to see you there!


Looking forward to hearing from you,


Angela L. Borger


Editor in Chief