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The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four…

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives

by Theresa Brown

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Interesting read. A little wordy at times with tangents. ( )
  mbalbrechtsen | Aug 15, 2017 |
Everyone likes war stories, right? These are ordinary stories from an oncology floor at a teaching hospital, with small victories, small losses, petty patients and graceful ones. If you really like medical stories, this will please, but not otherwise. ( )
  rivkat | Apr 16, 2017 |
This book should be required reading for everyone to help them understand the issues with a healthcare system so focused on profit (yes, even "non-profit" hospitals are focused on profit) that patients' care comes secondary (or is just given lip service to). Ms. Brown does an good job of making me feel as though I am with her on her shift and I'm exhausted just reading about it. I got a bit confused from time-to-time with the who/what/where but, other than that, I found this book to be well worth reading. ( )
  sunnydrk | Aug 24, 2016 |
As an oncology nurse who has not worked on an inpatient unit in about 20 years, The Shift brought back many memories. Brown's account of the combination of the really important and the really mundane that still absolutely has to get done was well described. I enjoyed reading it, but question whether it will appeal to a general audience. ( )
  nancyjune | Jun 21, 2016 |
The author does a good job of capturing the anxiety and stress of a nursing shift. As a nurse, I recognize the constant prioritization of an overwhelming number of tasks, and the push/pull of all those whose needs are the greatest at any given moment. I also appreciated her acknowledging that even after years on the job, you often still feel worried whether you will be able to deal with whatever unknown emergency is headed your way as you clock in for your 12 hour shift. The only negative comment was that... overall, nothing happened on this shift. It was just a regular day. Which I certainly can respect, for she captures the details of the working day...but as a reader, I felt frustrated because she left me waiting for something to "happen". ( )
  aligarf | Jun 15, 2016 |
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If all is supposition, if ending is air, then
why not happiness? Are we so cynical,
so sophisticated as to write off even the
chance of happy endings?

—Tim O'Brien
In the Lake of the Woods
To Sophia, Miranda, and Conrad-
the beginning of this journey
First words
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place

The buzz of the alarm surprises me, as it always does. I've been off for a few days and never go to bed early enough before a first shift back. That's the problem with being a night owl at heart.
Chapter 1

I hit the floor at 7:03. It should be 7:00, but getting here almost late is my small, immature act of rebellion.
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Book description
In this title, readers experience a typical workday through the narrative of hospital oncology nurse Brown.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 161620320X, Hardcover)

“Compelling and compassionate human drama. If you want to understand how modern medicine ticks, fasten your seat belt and spend a day in the hospital with Theresa Brown on The Shift.” —Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, author of What Doctors Feel

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.


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 09 Jul 2015 11:54:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Practicing nurse and New York Times columnist Theresa Brown invites readers to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day on a hospital cancer ward. In her 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, and by the end of the shift, we have witnessed something profound about hope and healing and humanity.… (more)

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