"Doctors heal, or try to, but as nurses we step into the breach, figure out what needs to be done for any given patient today, on this shift, and then, with love and exasperation, do it as best as we can."—from Critical Care"At my job, people die," writes Theresa Brown, capturing both the burden and the singular importance of her profession. Brown, a former English professor at Tufts University, chronicles here her first year as an R.N. in medical oncology. As she does so, Brown illuminates the unique role of nurses in health care, giving us a deeply moving portrait of the day-to-day work nurses do: caring for the person who is ill, not just the illness itself.
Critical Care takes us with Brown as she struggles to tend to her patients' needs, both physical (the rigors of chemotherapy) and emotional (their late-night fears). Along the way, we see the work nurses do to fight for their patients' dignity, in spite of punishing treatments and an often uncaring hospital bureaucracy. We also see how a twelve-hour day of caring for the seriously ill gives Brown herself a deeper appreciation of what it means to be alive. Ultimately, this is a book about embracing life, whether in times of sickness or health.
As she takes us into the place where patients and nurses meet, Brown shows us the power of human connection in the face of mortality. She does so with a keen sense of humor and remarkable powers of observation, making Critical Care a powerful contribution to the literature of medicine.
My Take on the Book
Seeing that I have worked with health care professionals and have heard their rivoting stories in the past, this book was one that I was interested in reading.
I found in reading this book that the book itself truly draws you in and connects you with the author herself. You gain a good understanding of what she is feeling as a new nurse, her fears, hopes and dreams. You also get to glimpse the challenges that she faces as an oncology nurse (which is a tough place to work).
Overall, I found this book to be one that I know I will be sharing with others, especially those who plan to enter the nursing profession!
If this book sounds like something you would like in your own library you can find it on Amazon!