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Thank you for courage

Monday October 8, 2012
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I read with great interest the article by and about Janis Booth, RN (July 16 End of Shift article “Becoming more comfortable” (Nurse.com/Article/EOS/Comfortable). I am involved with educating the next generation of nurses in an associate degree program.

I work in a nursing skills simulation lab, and we are charged with teaching nursing skills, such as incorporating matters of cultural competency. Our college is taking tremendous public steps in offering support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. In June, we sponsored the first campuswide consortium in an effort to bring together faculty, staff, administrators and LGBT activists and allies to share experiences and strategies in developing advocacy, collaborations, professional and institutional support on campus.

This is one of many formalized efforts on our campus. Yet, in a data-driven profession, society and culture, I still am most affected by the individual stories. Thank you nurse Booth for your courage and conviction and willingness to share your experience. As I continue to develop and tweak cultural competency modules for our own students, I am reminded of the value of the experience not only from a patient’s perspective but from a practitioner’s perspective as well.

— Kathy Awkard, RN, Nursing Skills and Simulation Lab instructor, Montgomery College, Silver Spring, Md.