Carol Rauen, rn-bc, ms, ccrn, pccn, cen, the department editor, is an independent clinical nurse specialist in The Outer Banks of North Carolina and a staff nurse in the burn trauma intensive care unit at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia. She wrote the CCRN and CSC questions. Carol welcomes feedback from readers and practice questions from potential contributors at [email protected].


I wrote this column while recovering at home from what is my fifth surgery for breast cancer. The first 4 procedures were during the year of my diagnosis and initial treatments, and this one is a revision of my reconstructive surgery. My situation reminded me that life does not stop while one is recovering from illness or while a nurse is preparing to take a certification exam. I have an incredibly supportive husband and hospital job, and complete control over my schedule, but I...

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