1. Zahourek, Rorry PhD, APRN, BC, AHN-BC

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The cover of the June issue shows a photograph by Lisa Kyle (part of the AJN contest and exhibition, The Faces of Caring: Nurses at Work) that I call "Nursing the IV Tubing." It is supposed to inspire the pursuit of nursing as a career, but it would make me run from nursing as fast as possible. The picture is described as depicting a nurse taking care of a severely burned patient, but there is no patient to be seen, and I can see no indication that it is a burn unit. If the patient had been present I might have experienced what Diana Mason sees in the photograph: "Caring requires in-depth knowledge of technology-how to use it, its role in healing, and how to assess patients." Yes, the photograph communicates concern and attention to technology, but it also communicates how, within that framework, we have lost the patient. The patient doesn't exist-the nurse is nursing and intently caring for the IV tubing.


The photograph made me wonder if holism and caring can exist in this highly technological health care system. If not, we might as well train as technicians and forget the holistic, caring aspects of nursing. This picture of a nurse nearly buried in equipment depicts fractured, not holistic, patient care. Sadly, what it shows is a jaundiced, masked, gloved, and shrouded face of the "caring nurse at work."


Rorry Zahourek, PhD, APRN, BC, AHN-BC


Amherst, MA