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Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death,…

Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between

by Theresa Brown

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1/25/14 ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had an extra interest in reading Critical Care, as I underwent cancer treatment in 2008 and thus spent a great deal of time in the oncology ward of the local hospital. I found Theresa Brown's story to be a compelling one, both from the sense of her choosing nursing as a second career and her experiences working with cancer patients. As you might expect from a former university English professor, Brown has a gift for language that made this book very readable despite the difficult subject matter.

I've read a few "cancer memoirs" over the past few years, and found the vast majority of them lacking. This was the only book that dealt with the experience of having cancer that I felt I could really relate to, even when Brown was writing about other types of cancer than the one I had. Her thoughtfulness and compassion for her patients also reflects the vast majority of nurses I was lucky enough to have care for me while I was sick.

I've since read several of Brown's op-ed columns in the New York Times, and it's always like getting back in touch with an old friend. I'm glad she's still writing about her experiences with patients and the struggle to find a dignified end to life. ( )
1 vote rosalita | Dec 23, 2011 |
If you know someone who wants to be a nurse, not matter what area of intrest they are in or a career switcher, pass this book onto them. This book was deeply engrossing. For me, it confirmed my career switch. ( )
  seki | Oct 13, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If you have ever wondered what it is really like to be a nurse - especially if you are thinking about changing careers...read this book.
  tcrutch | Jan 12, 2011 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It was hard for me to get motivated to read Critical Care, because it encompasses one of the hardest things that we have to deal with in life - death. Once I mustered up the courage to face the type of challenges that nurses face everyday, I couldn't put it down. This book is emotionally charged. It is filled with compassion, one of the greatest traits of a nurse, and helped me to learn more about the types of challenges and rewards that nurses face everyday. It tends to have some of the jargon that comes along with hospital and cancer patient care, but it does not take over the story that lies behind what inspired this book - people. I don't ever expect to go into the nursing profession, but this book has given me more knowledge on how to be a better patient. I would encourage anyone to read this book as it covers issues that undoubtedly we will have to face in our lives, whether it be through our own health or that of a loved one. Theresa Brown did a great job of using her voice to share the stories of her experience with patients, while still respecting their privacy and anonymity. ( )
  iamalibrarian | Jan 11, 2011 |
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"At my job, people die," writes Theresa Brown, capturing both the burden and the singular importance of her profession. Brown, a former English professor, chronicles her first year as an R.N. in medical oncology. She illuminates the unique role of nurses in health care, giving us a moving portrait of the day-to-day work nurses do: caring for the person who is ill, not just the illness itself. Brown takes us with her as she struggles to tend to her patients' needs, both physical and emotional. Along the way, we see the work nurses do to fight for their patients' dignity, in spite of punishing treatments and an often uncaring hospital bureaucracy. We also see how caring for the seriously ill gives Brown herself a deeper appreciation of what it means to be alive. Ultimately, this is a book about embracing life, whether in times of sickness or health.--From publisher description.… (more)

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