Some Thoughts on Change

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February | March 2005 AWHONN Lifelines 11For the past few months, I have beenconsumed with thoughts aboutchange. There is a saying that changeis opportunity. There is a proverbthat states that four things do notcome back: The spoken word, thesped arrow, the past life, and the neg-lected opportunity. And then there isthe soon-to-be classic, Change isgood, donkey from the movie,Shrek 2!So why all these thoughts aboutchange? Like many of you, I havebeen wrestling with some personaldemons about my work life and itsdaily challenges and frustrations. Iam blessed that for the past sevenyears, I have worked within an aca-demic setting. I have been granted theunique opportunity of working in anenvironment where individuality isencouraged, initiative is valued andmost of the time I get to do what Iwant, how I want. Take on the editor-ship of the womens health and child-bearing neonatal nursing clinical journal? Noproblem. Travel to interesting cities to presentto fellow nurses? No problem. Submit researchproposals on topics of great personal and pro-fessional interest? Once again, no problem. Sowhy have I been frustrated at times, dissatisfiedat others? And why have I decided to leave theuniversity when I am one year away fromtenure and a sabbatical?The simplest and truest answer is that Ihave missed clinical practice more than I canstand and despite efforts to incorporate part-time clinical hours into my work week, the oneday a week just whet my appetite for more.And then the perfect opportunity appeared,and it was almost as if a small voice in my earkept repeating, This is it. This is what youhave been waiting for! So without too muchDr. Anne Katz, PhD,RN, is a clinical nursespecialist at theProstate Centre ofCancerCare Manitobain Winnipeg.on ChangeSome Thoughts f12 AWHONN Lifelines Volume 9 Issue 1angst and reflection, one day before I left forthe AWHONN convention in Tampa Bay, Iwrote a letter of application and attached myresume and sent it off. An interview followedthat went really well, and later that day Ireceived the call with a job offer. Negotiationsfollowed in short order (I was leaving foranother conference two days later), and I feltwelcome and needed and appreciated.As I packed up my office, throwing awaypiles of documents I thought I would nolonger need, and started saying my farewells tograduate students and colleagues, I foundmyself both excited and yet at the same timeon the verge of tears almost every day. I did notexpect that this change would be so bitter-sweet. I had been considering other careermoves that I have made through the years. Inmy memory, they were all positive and led togreater job satisfaction. The truth is likely morecomplex; however, I know that I grew profes-sionally and personally and made new and truefriends in each place. I can honestly say thesame about this move. I have learned so muchabout myself, and perhaps the most valued les-son is that I am a practice-based nurse first andforemost. I need to be in clinical practice and Ineed the daily challenges in caring for patientsand their families, and the stimulation ofworking within a multidisciplinary team.In my new role, I will be working as a clini-cal nurse specialist at our local cancer instituteand I will be the first doctorally prepared nurseto work there. I will have the freedom to createthis role within the institution with the sup-port of a visionary nurse leader and her teamof managers. I hope that other nurses will seeme as an ally, mentor and champion of theirdaily challenges and successes.Many of you have faced change in yourwork lives, and some of you may have done sounder duress and with far less choice. That isthe reality of a stressed health care environ-ment. Many of you have left valued positionsbecause a spouse or partner had to relocate orbecause you were called to military service.Change can be frightening and stressful andunwanted or unpleasant. Change forces us toreevaluate what is important in our work livesand highlights what we like most or least. Andsometimes change means that we have to settlefor something less than we hoped for and makecompromises in the short term in the hopethat things will improve.As I moved through the final weeks in myuniversity office, I was acutely aware that I wasleaving the known for the heart-stoppinghopes of the unknown. I became a nurse thosemany years ago because I wanted to make adifference in the lives of others. I wanted to gohome at the end of the day knowing that insome way, I had touched the life of anotherhuman being in a meaningful way. As I con-template the future, an old Hebrew proverbspeaks loudly to me: A change of name orplace may sometimes save a person. I am notchanging my name, but in changing my placeperhaps in some way the truth of who I amwill be saved.Lifelines Launches WWWManuscript Submissions &Review!It seems that 2005 is really going to be a yearof change for AWHONN Lifelines. In addi-tion to the many new departments we arerolling out this year, 2005 marks the beginningof an exciting new process for the managementof manuscripts that are submitted to our pub-lication. Our goal in launching this new systemis to provide the optimal manuscript reviewand knowledge-sharing environment forauthors, reviewers and the editorial staff ofLifelines.In January, we quietly launched a Web-based system called Editorial Manager thattracks manuscripts from submission throughthe review process and on to publication. Thisis an exciting event that is also targeted tomove cutting-edge information that you canincorporate into your practice even morequickly to you.Editorial Manager helps authors (and youare all potential authors, so please dont stopreading this!) to submit their manuscripts toour journal through the World Wide Web andthen allows you to track that submission withreal-time data regarding the status of your sub-mission from anywhere in the worldas longas you have Internet access. Along the way,there is extensive help documentation to guideyou through each step of the process.In January, wequietly launched aWeb-based systemcalled EditorialManager that tracksmanuscripts fromsubmission throughthe review processand on topublicationAs an author submitting a paper toLifelines, the system prompts youthrough all the steps and builds aPortable Document File (commonlyknown as a PDF file) so that you canpreview your manuscript and all of itsvery important parts before it goes onto our publication reviewers. You willreceive an e-mail that tells you thatyour submission has been received,and from then on, you can track whatis happening to it and where it is inthe process. At each step in theprocess, from the completion of thereview process to my publication deci-sion regarding your submission, thesystem sends e-mail notifications sothat youre alerted to each change instatus for your manuscript.Reviewers receive the manuscriptand are encouraged by the system toread, review and comment in a timelymanner. Once these hard-workingindividuals have done their work andmy decision is made regarding yourwork, our reviewers will also be able toread what other reviewers have sug-gested for the manuscript. As editor, Iwill be able to track what is happeningto the many manuscripts for which Imake a publishing decision and canplan my work knowing what is inprocess at all times.So what does this mean in practicalterms? For one thing, no more mailingmultiple copies of your manuscripts toour editorial office after printing it outin quadruplicate on reams and reamsof paper. In fact, no more paper to beprinted on, faxed, stored and, yes,sometimes lost or damaged by coffeemugs, small children or pets. Authorscan follow the progress of their workin real time without phone calls and e-mails to me or the editorial office,which saves us all time and energy.Additionally, authors can return to their submission long after a decision has been made to re-readcomments from me and from ourreviewers.This new system also allows review-ers and editorial staff to read andreview manuscripts from anywhere atany time (vacation, conferences, thecoffee shop!) This is a dynamic system,and we will work hard to make surethat it works for all of ustheauthors, reviewers, editorial staff, ourpublisher and, ultimately, you thereader. Please join me at the conven-tion in June 2005 for a session onWriting for AWHONN Lifelines andother scholarly publications where youcan see what working with EditorialManager is all about in greater detail.Then, once inspired, you too can takethe plunge, write an article for us andsubmit it with the click of the mouse.Welcome to the 21st Century!Meantime, we are now waiting toreceive your important work throughthis new system. Please go to www.editorialmanager.com/Lifelineswhere you can follow the easy promptsto submit your paper today! You canalso find links to Editorial Managerfrom www.awhonn.org (under publi-cations) and from our website:http://awhonnlifelines. awhonn.org.February | March 2005 AWHONN Lifelines 13ARTICLE REPRINTSARTICLE REPRINTSLooking for an effective way to support yourcompany's marketing efforts with articles publishedin leading scientific and scholarly journals?Sage Publications offers reprints of publishedarticles from over 200 professional journals thatcould be used for the following purposes:To order reprints of any Sage article, please contact: Sales support material Exhibit and meeting handouts Direct mail inserts Handouts for field sales reps Internal education Seminar literature Distribution education toolsBob Vrooman 2455 Teller Road Thousand Oaks, CA 91320Phone: (805) 499-0721 ext. 7594 Fax: (805) 499-8096E-Mail: reprint@sagepub.com