In a book as eye-opening as it is riveting, practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown invites us to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day in a hospital's cancer ward. In the span of 12 hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. In Brown's skilled hands - as both a dedicated nurse and an insightful chronicler of events - we are given an unprecedented view into the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country. By shift's end we have witnessed something profound about hope, healing, and humanity.
Every day Theresa Brown holds patients' lives in her hands. On this day there are four: Mr. Hampton, a patient with lymphoma to whom Brown is charged with administering a powerful drug that could cure him - or kill him; Sheila, who may have been dangerously misdiagnosed; Candace, a returning patient who arrives (perhaps advisedly) with her own disinfectant wipes, cleansing rituals, and demands; and Dorothy, who, after six weeks in the hospital, may finally go home. Prioritizing and ministering to their needs takes the kind of skill, sensitivity, and, yes, humor that enable a nurse to be a patient's most ardent advocate in a medical system marked by heartbreaking dysfunction as well as miraculous success.
©2015 Theresa Brown (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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"Attempting Infinity Over 12 Hours--"
and not quite making it. "The Shift" is a really good listen if you're interested in the reality of an oncology nurse's day. There's a schedule that can never be adhered to because there's always something of greater import that absolutely needs to be done. There's the lack of lunch breaks and grabbing sustenance in just a few saltines. There's the odd dance between doctors and nurses. There are patient's families whose wants are to be considered almost as much as the patient's wishes.
And there is, dad blast it: the ever-ringing phone.
There's not really much in the way of questioning life, its import, the odd chances that befall us willy-nilly until the very end. So, while there's plenty of action (how anyone can manage that day in, day out, is beyond me!), there's not too much depth.
But I did wind up caring about the patients, and I certainly wound up respecting the heck out of Theresa Brown.
All in all, a good listen if you want to get a sense of "a chaotic day in the life of" an extremely competent and empathetic individual. At just over 7 hours, it's not going to take up too much of your time, and it's quite a ride!
I listened to this book having absolutely no medical knowledge, except that of a patient and wife of a patient. I have always admired RNs but now value their hard work and caring ways even more. True not all nurses are like the author, but from my personal experience, the great majority are like Teresa Brown. It was interesting to hear just how a hospital nurse feels and deals with a busy day. Travia Gilbert did a fine job with the narration.
"Realistic portrayal of one 12 hour shift..."
...of a nurse working in a cancer treatment area of a major hospital. I listened to this non-fiction book during a three day period while staying with my wife in a hospital after major surgery. Our two daughters were there much of the time. The younger daughter has been a critical care (ICU) RN for almost 20 years in the same hospital.
I suspect that author Theresa Brown is rather typical of nurses in her caring attitude and and her absolute dedication to accuracy. Her book is a very worthwhile listen. I recommend this book.
We are all going to have to go in the hospital or have friends or family that will. This gives an insight from a nurse's perspective.
This doesn't work with any other occupation I don't think. But it works here.
It's well written and shows an honest perspective from those who do the most to personally care for those in the hospital.
"being a Healthcare chaplain, this added insight to"
my work and the nurses I work with. I try to always be mindful of their needs when I visit their patients.
"A really good story, not really a fascinating one."
Being a nurse, there were a lot of things I loved. I thought she described our work schedules and our camaraderie very well. Anyone who has ever mis- counted on a narcotic count though, will realize she was absolutely foolish to think she could leave with an incorrect narcotic count. I kept waiting for that other shoe to drop. The other thing that was missed in editing had to do with the performance. While someone carefully taught the professional reader how to let words like heparin induced thrombocytopenia, and disseminated interstitial coagulopathy, roll off her tongue. Someone forgot to tell her that blood types do not come in "A plus" or "O minus," but in "A positive " and "O negative." Other than that the reader sounded very professional.
"Respect to all the healthcare workers"
Theresa took me in a journey from early morning 7 AM to 7 PM; the end of her 12 hours shift.
I'm so attached to her and the cancer ward. I have all the respect in the world for the kindhearted really devoted nurses, doctors, and all those involved in healthcare. True; there are some bad apples, but well, every profession has those *sigh*
I love healthcare and everything that has to do with it. And to be able to live a day through the eyes of a nurse that cares so much about her patients; is quite the adventure.
Working on a healthcare facility is not always pleasant, especially in ICU and cancer wards; but there are those precious moments where you are able to save a life and make a big difference, they mean the world :)
I heard this book on Audible, narrated by Tavia Gilbert and she did an amazing job.
If you like good stories give this book a go. We need to care more about each other, and this book gives you that amazing opportunity.
I wish all politicians served as a nurse for couple of years, maybe that could wake the good in them.
I am a breast cancer survivor twice, and an ex nurse, so I could not put this down! I related to everything and am so thankful for this nurse as well as all the others!
Thank you Teresa Brown. And thank you Tavia Gilbert for your wonderful narration. Having been chronically ill for the last 8 years of my life, in and out of hospital, this helps me understand my treatment from the nurses' perspective. Very eye-opening and it confirmed what I always thought; that 12 hour shifts are too much for the nurses, interns, physicians, surgeons, etc, who are very often sleep deprived. Kudos to all of you in the medical field! Thank you for what you do!
"Loved, loved this realistic story!"
Being a retired nurse I found this book to be so honestly realistic. I have worked 12 hour shifts too and I'm very happy to not have to work them anymore. Right now I'm 70 years old and still a nurse out in the community screening B/P and B/S and flu shots. Working maybe 6 hours a week. Back in the day we had no computers and I think it made my job easier than T's. Thank you Theresa for making me so proud of my profession. You are amazing !
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