"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Friday Quotes and a review: The Shift

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from the book.
The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind 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

Book Beginnings: 
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


  1. It sounds like I'll have to pick this one up. Thanks for sharing! :)

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

  2. I have never tried a non-fiction book about a nurse maybe I should change that. Happy Friday.

  3. I've just added this book to my wishlist, it sounds really interesting.

    My BookBeginning Post:

  4. This sounds really good. It takes special people to be nurses. You can check out mine here...http://tinyurl.com/LisaKsBookReviewsTCOCP

  5. Sounds fascinating ... and maybe a little scary for anyone who may be scheduled for time in a hospital. I've heard there's a shortage of nurses, and I can understand why!
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

  6. , this sounds like an intense read, and I would definitely be reading constantly...I liked the excerpts. The alarm going off is a familiar tune that I don't miss these days...LOL.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  7. My Mum used to be a nurse and she always has fascinating anecdotes. This definitely sounds interesting! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  8. Glad you enjoyed this one. I really don't pick up enough non-fiction books. Happy weekend!

  9. I don't read nonfiction and think I would prefer to live in blissful ignorance about what nurses do. Every time I've been in the hospital, they have been caring and wonderful. I have Soundless by Richelle Mead this week. Happy reading!

  10. I love reading non-fiction about someones' real life situations. They can be very gripping being so real. This sounds like a really good one!
    Great review! Happy weekend!

  11. Hi Anne,

    I don't tend to read non-fiction, so this probably isn't one for me.

    However, I do have a friend who has almost completed her training as a nurse and some of the comments you include from the book's blurb and introduction, resonate loud and clear with the observations and conclusions she has come to, about the state of our National Health Service, here in the UK.

    In fact, the situation is so bad from what she has witnessed in just three short years of training, that as soon as she qualifies, she will be leaving to work in private sector medicine, where she is hoping that conditions for both patients and staff will be much more palatable.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend.


  12. I don't normally read nonfiction but this sounds like a must read! Clearly we need to do something about this situation in health care but we always seem to have the wrong priorities
    Here's My Friday Post

  13. Nursing is one of the most stressful, taxing jobs in the world. I am sure anyone who reads this will have a newfound appreciation for those working in healthcare.

  14. 12 hours per shift seems too long! How grueling. Nice review.


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