Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Shift

Idgie Says:
Have you ever gone to the hospital to visit someone, or to be seen yourself and you grow irritated at the length of time to receive medicine or receive information?  Have you groused about the nurse's somewhat short attention time to you and how they can be a bit abrupt in style?  Or have you noticed how they look completely drained and frazzled but patiently stand there and answer your questions and refill your water?  As we all know, hospitals can provide you a varied style of care and service depending on the time of day and the events surrounding the hall. 

This book, written by a nurse describing one of her 12 hours shifts, might just give you a better understanding of what's going on in their minds, what's happening on the other side of the doorway or simply how they are coping with the responsibility of caring for so many people's needing - doing their best to help heal. 

An interesting read.


Algonquin Books
September 22, 2015

Book Description:
A moving story unfolds in real time as practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown reveals the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country. She lets us experience all the life that happens in just one day in a busy teaching hospital’s oncology ward. In the span of twelve hours, lives can be lost, life-altering treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. Every day, Theresa Brown holds these lives in her hands. On this day there are four.

There is 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 successes.

This remarkable book does for nurses what writers such as Atul Gawande and Abraham Verghese have done for doctors, and at shift’s end, we have learned something profound about hope and healing.

About the Author:
Theresa Brown, RN, works as a clinical nurse and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times opinion pages as well as on the Times Opinionator blog. She has also been a contributor to the popular “Well” section of that paper and writes for CNN.com and other national media.
Brown received her BSN from the University of Pittsburgh and, during what she calls her past life, a PhD in English from the University of Chicago. Before becoming a nurse she taught English at Tufts University.

Today, her focus is medical oncology and end-of-life issues. She lectures nationally, is a board member of the Center for Health Media and Policy at the Bellevue School of Nursing at Hunter College. Brown was a panelist for the TEDMED’s Great Challenges of Health and Medicine initiative and is also involved in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Flip the Clinic” initiative and an advisory board member for Scrubs Magazine.

She lives with her husband and three children in Pennsylvania.