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Publisher's Summary

I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out, a collection of true narratives, reflects the dynamism and diversity of nurses who provide the first vital line of patient care. Here, nurses remember their first "sticks", first births, and first deaths and reflect on what gets them though long, demanding shifts and keeps them in the profession.

The stories reveal many voices from nurses at different stages of their careers: One nurse-in-training longs to be trusted with more "important" procedures while another questions her ability to care for nursing home residents. An efficient young emergency room nurse finds his life and career irrevocably changed by a car accident. A nurse practitioner wonders whether she has violated professional boundaries in her care for a homeless man with AIDS. And a home-care case manager is the sole attendee at a funeral for one of her patients.

What connects these stories is the passion and strength of the writers who struggle against burnout and bureaucracy to serve their patients with skill, empathy, and strength.

©2013 Creative Nonfiction Foundation (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully written stories." (Booklist)

"Tavia Gilbert’s narration of these essays written by nurses is beautiful and profound....  Gilbert translates all the emotions, including fear, gallows humor, gratitude, and empathy." (AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
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  • C Sterchele
  • 25-08-2015

Kept my interest

I do not work in the medical field, yet hold those that do in the highest regard. This book kept my interest. It was fascinating to hear so many nursing perspectives - from a mercy ship to pediatrics.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet
  • 16-08-2015

A nurse must read!

Great narrator, this keeps all books flowing. Good experiences, very true to the profession. from my 27 year experience. Gotta Love it😘😷

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • dachi
  • 20-05-2016

Was not able to read it

Any additional comments?

Started great and I think I will be great listen but I would never know. This was little too much for me, I too faint hearted for this. Some of the stories are little hard to bear.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Lain M
  • 30-06-2016

Exceptional compilation of nurses' stories!

I have been an RN and an NP for ten years collectively, and every one of these nurses' stories resonated with me! This compilation has inspired me during a time in my career when I'm at a loss as to what to do next. Thank you so much for sharing!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marlene carpentieri
  • 27-06-2017

Review of I wasn't strong like this when I fist started

As a nurse for more than 34 yrs, I totally related to this book!
I enjoyed every minute! The stories were real & engaging

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nurse A
  • 17-05-2018

Fantastic book!

I relate to something from each nurse's story. I was captivated from beginning to end.

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  • Al
  • 13-04-2018

RNs will enjoy this book

I could relate to this book as could most nurses because of the honest and insightful way it was written. Anyone who is considering going into the nursing profession may want to read this book. It is well written.
I am a retired RN and I can relate to many of these experiences.

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  • angiesmom
  • 18-03-2018

death

This was a great book and look into a nurse's life. I just wished that it provided chapters for different topics. Every chapter focused on death and losing a patient. There are a lot of great audio books for beginning nurses. Although I highly recommend the first chapter or intro chapter of this book, unless you plan on teaching about coping with the dying process another book may be more of what you are looking for.

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  • Jenny S.
  • 27-12-2017

Great book!

Great listen full of realness and a splash of nurse humor!! Great for post long shift listening!

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  • Cassandra S
  • 14-10-2017

as an RN, I love it

as an RN, I can relate to the struggles in all of these stories. I wanted to laugh when they laugh, cry when they cried. I would recommend this to any new or old nurse.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-01-2017

Loved it

I really enjoyed this book. It was heartbreaking, funny and inspiring all at once. It's made me think more seriously about pursuing a career in nursing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful