I have been thinking about music and legacies lately. Until recently, I had a large (and heavy!) upright Cunningham piano in my home. The piano was originally built for a movie house, in the days when musical accompaniment was needed because the moving pictures did not yet talk. After that leap in technology was established and the piano was up for sale (cheap!), my grandfather purchased it. My sisters and I learned to play on that piano. Both my sons learned to play on that piano. Now my nephew has children of his own, and they too will learn on that piano. If only my grandfather could see and hear us now!
We all question what our legacies will be, in our private lives and in our professional lives. As health care providers, I know that the readers of Wound Management & Prevention will leave legacies that they may never know about. Every day, you touch the lives of your colleagues and patients in ways that can leave long-lasting effects. In this month’s Upfront With Ostomies column (“Mentorship of the Patient With a New Ostomy, The Role of Ostomy Nurses and Support Groups, and the Impact on Quality of Life,” page 12), we present the story of Annemarie Finn, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer and subsequently underwent a radical cystectomy. Her story is bookended by the perspective of Joanna Burgess-Stocks, BSN, RN, CWOCN. Together, they emphasize the importance of support and mentorship in every step of the health care (and life) journey.
Collaboration and mentorship are also front and center in this month’s Can We Talk? article, “The Importance of Collaborating and Mentoring When Identifying Wounds” (page 48). In it, Holly Kirkland-Kyhn, PhD, FNP, GNP, CWCN, FAANP, and Melania Howell, BSN, BS, RN, CWOCN, DAPWCA, DNPc, continue the conversation that began in the February issue of Wound Management & Prevention with the article, “Practice Dilemmas: Conditions That Mimic Pressure Ulcers/Injuries—To Be or Not To Be?” In this month’s column, the authors encourage readers to make an investment in the future by “mentoring, educating, leading, and guiding advanced practice through research, collaboration, and publication.” It is a strong call to leave a healthy legacy.
To add a variation to the theme, this month’s issue also includes an article related to music: “Music in the Wound Care Center: Effects on Anxiety Levels and Blood Pressure Measurements in Patients Receiving Standard Care,” by Cheng et al (page 16). In this study, playing classical music in the treatment room during wound care interventions resulted in a significant decrease in patient anxiety scores and blood pressure measurements. For me, this reinforced my own belief that music has the ability to soothe and calm. This, of course, brought me back to my grandfather’s piano and how to leave a positive legacy.
Just as children learn to play an instrument one note at a time, adults learn their professions one piece at a time. With every progression comes more knowledge and opportunities for collaboration. The field of health care is somewhat like an orchestra in that all the musicians must be proficient and dedicated, while making sure that they are also cooperating to produce a quality piece. In health care, there are so many specialties and practitioners, all with their own areas of expertise and skills that are integral to the continuum of care. Every day, all the players have the opportunity and responsibility to use those talents and to harmonize with others to improve patient care and quality of life. Simultaneously, the melodies of multiple legacies are being played.
May your legacy be consonant and constructive.