The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Find a quote from page 56.
Check out the links for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Participants don't select their favorite, coolest, or most intellectual books, they just use the one they are currently reading. This is the book I'm reading right now:
Book Title: The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives by Theresa Brown, RN
The buzz of the alarm surprises me, as it always does. Six a.m. comes too soon.Friday 56:
On the way out of the door. I grab a couple of Hershey's kisses from the candy bowl and eat them in the hallway without much noticing the taste. Breakfast?Comment: I am participating in Nonfiction November so decided to read this new book to my library which recently arrived in a box from Junior Library Guild. The Shift is right up my alley since I really enjoy reading books about medicine and medical conditions. Since I finished the book today I decided to go ahead and write a review.
Before Theresa Brown became an oncology nurse she taught English at Tufts College. This career shift seems like an unlikely path but was a beneficial one as Theresa Brown is a very good writer. As the title states, the whole book is about a day in the life of a hospital nurse who works the oncology department. The first line begins with the alarm going off to start the day for Theresa and with the last lines, she goes to bed and to sleep. In between these two pages readers walk every step of Theresa's day working as a registered nurse.
After she gets to work we learn that on this day Theresa will have three patients, to start off, with one patient to arrive later. My first reaction is "four, that is all?" Doesn't four sound like a small number? Teachers at the secondary level can have 150 students a day. Four sounds easy. Boy, was I wrong. As I went to work with Theresa, via her words in the book, I learned that caring for four seriously ill patients is a lot of work. Teachers, by and large, may have vastly more people in their care each day, but the care isn't generally life or death care. Thankfully. I can't even imagine how stressful it would be to work a twelve hour shift, with four lives in my hands.
I practically ate this book up, reading it in less than two days. I read it fast because I wasn't reading it for all the minute details. When doses of drugs or details of medical treatments were mentioned I allowed my eyes to skip ahead a bit. But there were plenty of details I didn't skip. Here are a few of the most worrisome points she made: 1. Even though research shows that working twelve hour shifts is very hard on the nurses and the quality of care goes down at some point late in the shift, hospitals still stick with this model. 2. On the highlighted day, and more often than not, Theresa doesn't get a lunch, even though she is not paid for her half hour lunch time. The hospital just doesn't prioritize this so she just has to cram some food in her face on the run. During this twelve hour shift, she took about a ten minute break. Can you imagine? 3. Because hospitals are concerned about potential lawsuits some procedures have been put in place that actually take the professionals away from patient care because there is more paperwork. The the worrisome bits didn't cloud over the beauty of her service and all the details of the day, exhausting as it was. What a joy to read.
I am already scheming on who I will recommend this book to first. I know my mom, a retired registered nurse, would appreciate it but she doesn't live nearby. So I think I will loan it to a staff member who was a nurse and now is a Science teacher. I bet she'll be able to think of students who would like it. I highly recommend this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5