1. Lao, Robyn Huey DNP, MSN, BSN, CPNP-AC

Article Content

In this issue, we present a selection of articles on gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes). As a pediatric surgery nurse practitioner for over a decade, I see G-tubes as our bread and butter. We interact with a wide variety of patients who need enteral feeding tubes because of an assortment of conditions, such as cardiac anomalies, neurology disorders, prematurity, or craniofacial abnormalities. Regardless of the reason for the enteral tube, families struggle with the same challenges of G-tube management, and there is often anxiety surrounding the decision for surgery. At times, G-tube care can feel mundane to us as nurses because of high repetition, but this journal issue challenges us to think about the whole patient experience and how we can improve our practice. We feature an interview with a patient, Carmen, who shares how she struggled during her childhood with an esophageal stricture and feeding tube from an accidental lye ingestion. Leland and Wocial, pediatric ethicists, explore how to navigate shared decision making for surgical G-tube placement with families, which is frequently a difficult decision. We present an article by pharmacists Golik and Vallarta providing clinical pearls for G-tube medication administration. A wonderful article from Kimel, a school nurse, discusses involving community and school management of G-tubes and ostomies after the child is discharged. Catlin reviews a delightful book to share with patients, My Belly has Two Buttons, written by a mother to help normalize the G-tube for her son.

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G-tube issues are often managed by pediatric surgical nurses and nurse practitioners. A group of physicians with a nurse practitioner, namely, Maselli, Camacho, Delaplain, Nguyen, Mallicote, Philippe-Auguste, and Gayer, describes for us how an NP-driven G-tube clinic led to improved outcomes such as reduced emergency department visits and increased patient and parent satisfaction.


Although not related to G-tubes, a research article by Halemani and Kumar, of India, shows readers how education can reduce parental anxiety, which is applicable to our pediatric surgical practice. These researchers describe education for parents of patients undergoing radiation for Wilms' tumor management. With education on the evidence, pediatric surgical nurses and nurse practitioners can make a difference. In addition, this issue adds a short narrative by Steikema on caring for a child with an ostomy, a Name That Diagnosis by Graham, and a letter to the editor further discussing smoke in the operating room. Also included is a paper about the Beryl Patient Care Experience Organization which reviews their recent paper on the pediatric patient's inpatient experience. I hope that you will be as inspired as I was after reading this issue to continue providing thoughtful, patient- and family-centered, high-quality care.