1. Section Editor(s): Lockhart, Lisa MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC

Article Content

In this edition of Nursing made Incredibly Easy!, you'll find informative, peer-reviewed articles that address a range of interesting topics, including the conclusion of our three-part series on hypertension across the lifespan; a nursing professional development feature on Lyme disease; and our regular Wellness Mention department, this issue with a focus on student health. Of particular interest to me is the article on mask wearing, which discusses research performed to investigate nurses' perceptions of universal mask wearing for staff and patients.

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We all remember the initial shock and perhaps dislike of the mandates to wear masks at all times in healthcare areas during the pandemic. If you were in touch with patients, you were in a surgical mask. Those professionals working in our EDs, ICUs, and COVID-19 units also had to don N95 masks and full personal protective equipment. This sudden shift in culture threw everyone into a spin. Healthcare leaders strive to engage our workforce of professionals to have a voice in workflow, policies, procedures, schedules, uniform dress code, and the use of evidence-based practice, but during the pandemic surge, there were only the voices of authority issuing policies and guidelines that seemed to change daily. If we had the opportunity to do this over, what, if anything, would we do differently?


Staff at the point of care weren't only frustrated, they were also concerned. How does a mask affect patients' ability to bond with their caregivers, understand their care plan, and feel secure with the care they're receiving? The author discusses research conducted on a labor and delivery unit, walking us through the findings while keeping the focus patient centered. The author also looks to the nurses who use mandatory masking as a part of everyday practice in the OR. Information, data, and communication tools already exist for OR professionals. What impresses me is the author's ability to break down what's in the patient's best interest and still individualize care delivery, reaching out to others for best practice guidelines and to normalize the changes.


In the years I've been in nursing, normalization of new ideas has always been hard fought. I feel certain that if you look back, each of you can remember a policy or procedure change that put a twist on everything you knew to be solid and sound patient care, from the admission assessment to which vasopressors to use in a code situation. One thing you can count on in healthcare is that things will always change. I applaud the author's efforts to discuss how to normalize a new process and work it into the most routine of conversations with the same authenticity as orienting a patient to the room and visitation guidelines.


Managing an ever-changing work environment is always challenging and it sometimes means that we'll struggle with a new process and need to work through some discomfort to find what works best for us and our patients. Taking a slight pause to look at how we can and must do things differently to help all of us adjust is essential. Turn to page 22 to read this issue's engaging article on universal mask wearing.

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