President's Message | 2.21.2023
President's Message: February 2023

Music on the Bone - A Unique Twist of Othopaedics 

Recently I had the opportunity to take a few perspective students that were non-nursing majors on a tour of the campus where I’m now teaching. I’d stepped in for their scheduled tour guides, our nursing students, who were visiting with our perspective nursing majors. I happily took these students who had expressed interest in the Kinesiology major across the campus to our Athletic Center. 

Those who know me well know that I’ve rarely been at a loss for words and the tour was no different. Most of these students wanted to be physical therapists or athletic trainers. Almost every single one described their own injury or the injury of a close friend that had inspired them. Nearly everyone had required orthopaedic surgery – some had multiple surgeries. I never miss an opportunity to talk about orthopaedic nursing! From the question “How did she tear her ACL three times?” to my curiosity, “What event do you think you might run here,” I had absolutely lovely conversations with these future allied health professionals. What a fun surprise to get to share some of my passion with our future orthopaedic professionals.

Also recently, I was surprised to hear a very unique story on NPR that brought together my joy of orthopaedics with my dark secret of being a NPR nerd. I heard a violinist talking about records being made out of discarded x-rays. Have you heard this piece about Jazz on Bones or maybe Bones and Grooves? Apparently in the 1940s and 1950s, Stalin banned jazz music in the Soviet Union. There was an opportunity to use x-rays, which there were a plethora of due World War II, to make records. The records were then sold on the black market. The story is a unique twist of how the practice of orthopaedics and music united. Check out this incredible video of music being played on a record that is an x-ray image – it is fascinating. One of the authors mentioned how it was an intersection of something beautiful and forbidden overlaid on someone else’s pain. What a unique and beautifully tragic statement.

These two experiences reminded me that orthopaedic nursing has a bright future and a long past. I can’t help but think about how these two stories take moments we live and string them together to remind me our field is more than just right now. The physical films we used in the past were reimagined for music so long ago. The world we live in right now will also be reimagined into something different, probably something that we can’t even comprehend right now. Let’s make a promise to keep our eyes open and allow ourselves to be transformed into the future of orthopaedic nursing.


Amber S. Kujath, PhD, RN, ONC
NAON President

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