When the Greek philosopher Heraclitus penned that contemplation some 2,500 years ago, he undoubtedly had no concept of its increasingly profound relevance across the centuries that followed. His world was simple, bounded by the limitations of travel and communication. However, even then he recognized the inevitability of change in all aspects of human endeavor.
Today, the phenomenon of change is unavoidable and inescapable. We are bombarded by information about its pace, its direction, its benefits, and, most important, its dangers. Every day we hear stories about the success enjoyed by institutions that recognize and adapt to change, and the stories of the failure of those that did not. Those institutions represent every type of organization and enterprise--religions, businesses, sports, education, and entire societies and civilizations, including their governments and militaries.
Of course the most absolute of adaptations involve those institutions that deal with life and death, of which there are no more important examples than the practice of medicine, and the military. It follows directly that military medicine must cope with the combined challenges posed by both environments, some related, some not. Additionally, military medical organizations must contend with outside challenges pertaining to their unique hybrid character; societal, political, and financial, just to name a few.
The Army Medical Department (AMEDD) charts a path between its incarnations. The AMEDD must respond to the ebb and flow of Army requirements, priorities, reorganizations, structural shifts, etc, as the military continually adjusts to the ever-changing nature of troubling trends and obvious threats to the nation. While this is occurring, the AMEDD must keep the highest level of medical competency, capability, sophistication, and skills within its ranks to ensure that the Army's Soldiers receive healthcare second to none. This is not only the nation's obligation to them as individuals, but healthy Warriors are absolutely essential to combat effectiveness.
Each component of the AMEDD constantly faces those twin challenges, and must analyze, project, plan, and execute to have the correct combination of skills in sufficient numbers in the right places to maintain that healthcare support. This issue of the AMEDD Journal is dedicated to the recent work of the Army Nurse Corps as it undertook just such a transformation in response to the rapidly evolving, significant changes in both the military and medical responsibilities of their profession.
I welcome MG (P) Patricia Horoho, the Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, to the pages of the AMEDD Journal to present her vision and guidance in the retooling of the Nurse Corps from top to bottom, not just structurally, but philosophically as well. Under her leadership, the Army Nurse Corps established the goals necessary to ensure it could achieve and maintain the highest standards of nursing care, not only for the military environment, but as professional nurses in any healthcare situation. The Nurse Corps then created a campaign plan to move it from here to there, a single, defined route to guide all the efforts required for such a transformation. The articles assembled in this issue cover the gamut of that work, including design of the campaign plan; the changes in professional training content and delivery; the methodologies to evaluate effectiveness and adapt accordingly; projecting the skills necessary to reach and maintain the standards of care, then getting the individuals with those skills to join the ranks as Army Nursing professionals.
As shown in the pages of this AMEDD Journal, the transformation of the Army Nurse Corps has been an enormous effort, the complexity of which demanded strong, focused central leadership and a dedicated, closely coordinated team effort among the senior leaders across Army Nursing. The Corps Chief and those leaders are to be congratulated for their significant accomplishment. Further, the AMEDD looks forward to the continued leadership of MG (P) Patty Horoho as she assumes the mantle and duties as The Surgeon General of the Army, and Commanding General of the Army Medical Command.
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|Author:||Rubenstein, David A.|
|Publication:||U.S. Army Medical Department Journal|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2011|
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