1. Hambrick, David III RN, CGRN

Article Content

To the Editor,


Does it matter what gastrointestinal (GI) nurses and associates read? What a question!! But, like most other questions, the answer runs much deeper than a simple yes or no.


As the field of endoscopy continues to grow, with SGNA members leading the way, the GI nurse has become an attractive target for advertisers. In fact, on a daily basis, vendors access GI labs, nurses, and physicians. And now, commercial publications targeting GI nurses are becoming more aggressive in marketing their trade magazines. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, as long as nurses remember commercial publications are just that-commercial. They exist to make the publisher money, plain and simple. They do that by presenting articles that vendors are willing to support. Does this mean the articles are bad or not entertaining? Of course not. But these articles do not go through the peer-review process that is required for the SGNA-endorsed Gastroenterology Nursing journal you are reading now. Often, the articles are solicited by the trade magazine and authors are paid for their contribution. Again, this in and of itself is not bad, but there is certainly the potential for bias or errors in these articles because they did not go through a peer review process. Readers should be aware of this.


There is a place for more than one GI nursing publication. But GI nurses and associates should realize a profit-driven magazine may not deliver the level of objective information on which we need to base our practice. As the SGNA continues to move into evidence-based nursing as our practice standard, what we read and use as a basis for directing our practice may make a bigger difference than we realize. So the answer to the original question is an unqualified yes. It does matter what GI nurses and associates read. It is more important than ever to understand the difference between a peer-reviewed journal and a for-profit trade magazine and to make decisions related to patient care and practice issues accordingly.


David Hambrick III, RN, CGRN