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The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital

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In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know. The Nurses is told through the re In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know. The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals: Molly, funny, well-loved, and confident enough to quit a longtime job after her hospital ramps up its anti-nurse policies. Lara, a superstar nurse who tries to battle her way back from a near-ruinous prescription-drug addiction. The outspoken but compassionate Juliette, a fierce advocate for her patients. And Sam, a first-year nurse, struggling to find her way in a gossipy mean-girl climate she likens to “high school, except for the dying people.” The result is a riveting page-turner, insightful and thought-provoking, that will leave readers feeling smarter about their healthcare and undeniably appreciative of the incredible nurses who provide it.


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In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know. The Nurses is told through the re In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know. The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals: Molly, funny, well-loved, and confident enough to quit a longtime job after her hospital ramps up its anti-nurse policies. Lara, a superstar nurse who tries to battle her way back from a near-ruinous prescription-drug addiction. The outspoken but compassionate Juliette, a fierce advocate for her patients. And Sam, a first-year nurse, struggling to find her way in a gossipy mean-girl climate she likens to “high school, except for the dying people.” The result is a riveting page-turner, insightful and thought-provoking, that will leave readers feeling smarter about their healthcare and undeniably appreciative of the incredible nurses who provide it.

30 review for The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Nursing is more than a career; it is a calling. Nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them. When I started reading this book I loved it. Alexandra Robbins writes very well. For non-fiction this book reads better than some fiction I've read. She makes the nurses she followed for a year real and easy to understand. I have sorta been on a non-fiction kick lately. If I keep up this shit I'm gonna get smart. Well, not. This book follows four nurses throughout a yea Nursing is more than a career; it is a calling. Nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them. When I started reading this book I loved it. Alexandra Robbins writes very well. For non-fiction this book reads better than some fiction I've read. She makes the nurses she followed for a year real and easy to understand. I have sorta been on a non-fiction kick lately. If I keep up this shit I'm gonna get smart. Well, not. This book follows four nurses throughout a year. Some in their personal lives and most in their lives in the hospital. Molly, a nurse that quits her hospital because she is frustrated with all the new regulations being put on nurses and becomes an agency nurse. Meaning she floats around to different hospitals hoping to find one that is a fit for her. Lara, a nurse who has undergone an addiction to the very painkillers that she administers to her patients. Sam, a new nurse who is a quiet introvert in a world that nurses sometimes "eat their own." --I hate that this happens but it honestly does. New nurses are automatically not trusted on the floor and must earn their stripes from nurses that have been doing this for years. And Juliette, an overweight and very hardworking nurse who gets excluded from the mean girl clique at the hospital. Yes, nurses do form highschoolish cliques-even though we are supposed to be in a helping field it still happens. Too frequently, certain nurses and techs called in sick, then posted vacation pictures on Facebook. Or they were unprofessional: Lucy, the laziest tech in the unit, had refused to do lab work on patients she deemed too "gross" to touch. Robbins does give an insight to nursing that you aren't going to hear about from your nursing teacher. She tells some of the behind the scenes secrets even when they are not flattering to the nursing field. Like we use gallow humor, sometimes that's the only way to get through the day and it gets pretty gross. It doesn't mean we don't love our patients. Nurses are not sex kittens. TV and movies even still portray nurses as the sex goddesses of the nursing world. Today's nurses wear scrubs that might be stained with blood, urine, or various other un-arousing substances. A male nurse in Virginia said, "We're sweaty and smelly and covered in germs" Sounds sexy doesn't it? We do bet on your blood alcohol levels, how many times you are going to call back and ask the same things over and over again and several other things. We really don't have the time to spend running back and forth because you are bored and need unwarranted attention. Nurses are understaffed. Not necessarily sitting there playing games while you don't have the right amount of ice in your water. We have bad days, we get needle stuck, hit by patients, overworked, ignored by upper management. The list goes on... Now all that sounds kinda mean coming from some one who's job is to take care of people all day or night doesn't it? It's not. Nurses will fight for you. They will stand up to that doctor who they question, they will stay after shift just to help you if needed. Nursing is a calling. Take the time to tell your nurse thank you. They don't get enough praise and she will go that extra mile for you. She or he will probably go that mile anyways but some niceness in a crazy world is ALWAYS appreciated. Now there is a passage in this book that I'm calling bullshit on. I work in a doctors office. I see medical assistants that are way more trained than some of the LPN's in that same office. I work with a group of medical assistants that are all above level. We do have an LPN working there that is dumb as a box of rocks. Sorry, I'm calling it as I see it on that one. This part is bull. Parents call to ask the nurse a medical question about their child. The medical assistants, who are not nurses, pick up the phone, say, "Hello, this is the nurse," and then give advice, she said. "This is illegal and dangerous. Parents have no idea this is going on. MA's have taken a one- or two-year certificate training course, may not have a college degree, and do not have a license. I've heard them give incorrect advice." I'm not saying that all medical assistants are the bomb-diggity, but this just seemed snooty to the ones that are not. Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deanna

    4.5 Stars I've been reading books about all kinds of different heroes recently. This book is no exception. Written by journalist Alexandra Robbins "THE NURSES: A year of secrets, drama, and miracles with the heroes of the hospital" shows how we should be much more respectful to and thankful for these unsung heroes. They are on the front line. I shouldn't have been surprised to know that Nursing is listed as the third most dangerous profession behind police officers and correctional officers. The 4.5 Stars I've been reading books about all kinds of different heroes recently. This book is no exception. Written by journalist Alexandra Robbins "THE NURSES: A year of secrets, drama, and miracles with the heroes of the hospital" shows how we should be much more respectful to and thankful for these unsung heroes. They are on the front line. I shouldn't have been surprised to know that Nursing is listed as the third most dangerous profession behind police officers and correctional officers. The author has gone behind the scenes and followed some real-life nurses and interviewed many others to show what really goes on in our hospitals and these peoples lives. I've watched some of the TV drama's about nursing (Grey's Anatomy and Nurse Jackie for example) and wondered if some of the things that happened in the show had ever happened in real life. While it's not exactly like it is on TV some of the things happen more than we think. Although there are many stories in the book from many interviews the author follows four nurses closely. Lara, Molly, Juliette, and Sam are nurses who are very different but all of them are very compassionate and dedicated to their work. Although they try to do what is right they are still human. For example one of them is in recovery for substance abuse who is surrounded by temptation everywhere at work. There is also an affair with a doctor and a situation of bullying while another is tired of being tired and feeling exploited. Their stories show how the exposure to trauma as well as death on a regular basis can take a toll on anyone. There are situations of intimidation and bullying by senior staff, administration, doctors and even other nurses. Nurses are often abused by patients as well. One case where a nurse was attacked and was expected to finish out her shift was horrifying. Administration was not often behind the nurses in these cases and in often advised employees not to report these attacks. If a nurse did report what happened they were not always supported.... How terrible to have something like that happen, not be supported and even threatened with losing their job if they were to go forward and report what happened. Overworked without breaks quite often leaving nurses exhausted and possibly unable to do their job adequately. The book is easy to read and flows nicely. The nurses are sympathetic and engaging . The book is filled with stories of happiness, violence, heartbreak, sex, and miracles. We are let in on some secrets that can save our life or the life of someone we love. At times shocking it is a frank and candid look at the nursing profession and the healthcare system. Highly recommended!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Petra X back to reality & the diet!

    I'm about half-way through. I don't know what to make of the book. The writing is sometimes fairly dense research and sometimes anecdotal. The anecdotal the stories of the four nurses is the most interesting but is a problem to me because although the four nurses are so very different, if their names weren't continually in front of me I wouldn't know which is which. Or perhaps I don't care enough? What is coming through loud and clear is that the nurses (and murses, male nurses) are the Heroes of I'm about half-way through. I don't know what to make of the book. The writing is sometimes fairly dense research and sometimes anecdotal. The anecdotal the stories of the four nurses is the most interesting but is a problem to me because although the four nurses are so very different, if their names weren't continually in front of me I wouldn't know which is which. Or perhaps I don't care enough? What is coming through loud and clear is that the nurses (and murses, male nurses) are the Heroes of the Hospital and they Suffer. Boy do they suffer. Everyone gets at them, they are low man on the totem and senior staff, admin and doctors often lack respect for them. Councils and boards have none either and refuse to enforce good working conditions, hours and breaks for even going to the loo let alone something to eat. The nurses don't even respect each other, the young and newly qualified ones suffering from verbal bullying, put-downs and deliberate` overloading with work by the older more experienced nurses. Then there's the deliberate exclusion of the not-cool by the cliques... These poor nurses are driven to hard drugs and suicide by the demands of the job. I'm beginning to wonder what on earth they do it all for? Maybe the second half of the book will answer that. I have an auntie who is a nurse in the North of England and she loves it. I must ask her if all this mental brutality and physical overload is common there too or if it is particularly American, hospitals being profit-driven there?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "DJ"

    Alexandra Robbins follows the life of four nurses and their direct experience working in the nursing profession. I was absolutely blown away by this inside look. Not only by how nurses are treated, but also how they treat each other. If this doesn't prove our healthcare system is broken, I don't know what would. Bottom line is profits as usual, so staffing is kept at the absolute minimum. We are talking about life and death situations, where corporations crunch numbers weighing the possibility o Alexandra Robbins follows the life of four nurses and their direct experience working in the nursing profession. I was absolutely blown away by this inside look. Not only by how nurses are treated, but also how they treat each other. If this doesn't prove our healthcare system is broken, I don't know what would. Bottom line is profits as usual, so staffing is kept at the absolute minimum. We are talking about life and death situations, where corporations crunch numbers weighing the possibility of a wrongful death suite against huge profits from understaffing. Here's an awful fact, Bureau of Labor Statistics report nursing is the third most dangerous profession, behind police and correctional officers! Nurses are bullied by doctors, if they report, they may lose their job, if they don't patients may die. Nurses are bullied by other nurses who rip apart inexperienced workers. There is even a term for this, "nurses eat their young." Nurses are required to do every imaginable job, and often have no time to eat or even use the rest room in a 12 hour shift. Many have bladder problems by age 50. I could go on and on with the horrific pressure and positions nurses are put through. Bottom line though, I think this is a book that needs to be read. It is extremely informative and the personal stories practically had me in tears. I know one thing for sure, I will never treat a nurse with anything but the highest respect and admiration they deserve.

  5. 5 out of 5

    TL

    Not entirely happy with this review but here it goes: Another book that would normally be 'out of my book zone' but came across it by chance and thought I would give it a try. Very glad I did:) ___ Side Note: I was in a car accident in August 2008, I don't remember the accident itself but my car got broadsided when Mom and I were going home. I was in the hospital for three days with third grade concussion and a hip fracture. As you can imagine, I was pretty freaked out at first. I woke up in the ho Not entirely happy with this review but here it goes: Another book that would normally be 'out of my book zone' but came across it by chance and thought I would give it a try. Very glad I did:) ___ Side Note: I was in a car accident in August 2008, I don't remember the accident itself but my car got broadsided when Mom and I were going home. I was in the hospital for three days with third grade concussion and a hip fracture. As you can imagine, I was pretty freaked out at first. I woke up in the hospital with my head pounding and bright lights aboveme, not knowing where I was. I'm missing a couple chunks of time from the ER so maybeI fell asleep after that? *shrugs* I heard the nurses talking near about 'how she broke her hip' and I freaked out more, maybe that alerted them that I was awake? I ended up being off work for six weeks. One part of my hospital stay that I remember is most of the nurses were very kind to me. The one I remember the most was named Paul (a murse, the term for male nurses). He calmed me down and made me feel better about being in the hospital and took good care of me when he was there (he even helped me order food to eat). There was one nurse who name I don't remember but she wasn't very personable... she made me uncomfortable and afraid to ask her for help. Her tone didn't have alot of warmth in it and she didn't come to check in on me much (Mostly because I was afraid to press the call button). Reading some of what goes on in hospitals made me slightly more sympatethic but I still think she shouldn't have treated me that way. ---- This follows four nurses for a year and interviews alot of others... the way the narratives were set up with the POVs of the different nurses then the other stories and facts sprinkled throughout was well done and kept the book moving at a good pace that was never dull or un-interesting. It was confusing at first keeping the different nurses straight and where they worked haha, but that didn't last very long. My favorite of the main nurses they talked about? Hmm, loved them and felt for them all but I would have to say a tie between Molly and Juliette. I connected the most with them... warm, funny, and compassionate ladies who care fiercely about their patients. (The latter parts describe the other ladies as well to different degrees). Lara I admired for getting through her addcition, returning to the job she loved and continuing to be strong in the face of temptation. It was great to see her continuing to do well. Sam, an introvert like me, grew over the course of the book into being a more confident nurse... was proud of her :). The stories ranged from funny, warm, sad/heartbreaking, to ones that made me angry and give those hospitals a piece of my mind (and hug the nurses they happened to). Some of the nurses forming cliques and freezing out their colleagues and not helping them because they didn't like them reminded me of high school. Grown woman *shakes head* Some of the attitudes of some of the doctors had my jaw dropping at their behavior. Not all of the doctors were like that, I'm not saying they all are.. the ones who weren't had me smiling at their kindess and laughing in some cases. The policies that don't protect nurses but do physicians... oy vey. All these policies are friggin complicated and in some cases mind boggling. You depend so much on nurses, why not protect them and treat them right? The politics of the job... oy vey. The 'gallows humor' part I can understand, it wouldn't bother me now to hear them joking around now that I've heard from a few people in the book. If that helps them relieve the stress of their job then that's a good thing. Some of the hospital 'secrets/facts' provided surprised me... I had never heard those before. The one about patients being dicks, not so surprising really haha, made sense. The VIP rooms/wings/what not did though... didn't expect that. Some hospital's attitudes, not so much. Those had me rolling me eyes and mentally Gibbs!Smacking them. The hospitals that treated their nurses right warmed my heart... It should be about treating workers and patients right... not about the money the hospital stands to make. I realize money rules the world and people need to be paid but that doesn't excuse some of what was in the book. Nurses are on the front-lines, the ones with us the most during our stay... they deserve all the respect we can give them. . I had no idea some of this happened in the hospitals, all that the nurses put up with.. I have even more respect for them now. This is an important and should be read by everyone, even if your not in the healthcare profession. Read the words from the nurses at the end as well, inspiring and wonderful:) An interesting,compelling and eye-opening book in some cases, highly recommend! ----- (Think I got all the typos but lemme know haha)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Robbins

    This is my most important book to date. To clarify, the nurses I followed are not composites: they are real people with real stories. Here's the book description: In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to This is my most important book to date. To clarify, the nurses I followed are not composites: they are real people with real stories. Here's the book description: In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know. The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals: Molly, funny, well-loved, and confident enough to quit a longtime job after her hospital ramps up its anti-nurse policies. Lara, a superstar nurse who tries to battle her way back from a near-ruinous prescription-drug addiction. The outspoken but compassionate Juliette, a fierce advocate for her patients. And Sam, a first-year nurse, struggling to find her way in a gossipy mean-girl climate she likens to “high school, except for the dying people.” Readers will root for these bedside heroes, who operate in a world filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and gripping drama. It’s a world of hazing—“nurses eat their young.” Sex—not exactly like on TV, but more prevalent than many imagine. Drug abuse—disproportionately a problem among the best and the brightest. There are true-life archetypes—the handsome, suave doctor, the patient brought back from death, the hunky male nurse. And bullying—by peers, by patients, by hospital bureaucrats, and especially by doctors, an epidemic described as lurking in the “shadowy, dark corners of our profession.” The result is a riveting page-turner, insightful and thought-provoking, that will leave readers feeling smarter about their healthcare and undeniably appreciative of the incredible nurses who provide it. “Anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital – or might in the future -- would do well to read this book. With page turning prose, Robbins pulls back the curtain on a world rife with joy and challenge. It’s brutally honest, emotional, and most of all, a paean to nurses -- the people who help us live, die, and survive every day.” Rachel Simmons, author, ODD GIRL OUT “Nurses are the unseen warriors of the hospital system, part of a ‘secret club’ of heroes with its own rules and codes. They’re also strong-willed, flawed human beings made of flesh and (unafraid of) blood, rendered here in stunning detail. This fascinating and compulsively readable book even has a few tricks that could save your life. First tip: Don’t get sick in July.” —Mickey Rapkin, author, PITCH PERFECT

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    My sincere thanks to Michael Rockliff and Workman Publishing for allowing me to read this in e-galley format to be published April 21, 2015 The Hook - As a non-practicing LPN, the subject of Nursing has always interested me. The Line - Each chapter of Alexandra Robbin’s The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital open with three quotes. Here are just a few that I found interesting: ” ER nurse practice in an environment that has been called permanent whitewat My sincere thanks to Michael Rockliff and Workman Publishing for allowing me to read this in e-galley format to be published April 21, 2015 The Hook - As a non-practicing LPN, the subject of Nursing has always interested me. The Line - Each chapter of Alexandra Robbin’s The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital open with three quotes. Here are just a few that I found interesting: ” ER nurse practice in an environment that has been called permanent whitewater, where constant change, challenge, and crisis are the reality. Amazing stories occur each day and some of these stories may never be acknowledged or written.” --Emergency Nurses Association, Award Recognition Program. “Pop culture would have us believe that nurses play a small, trivial roll in healthcare; medical television programs tend to show doctors lingering at patients’ besides while nurses flit and intone “Yes, Doctor” in the background.” “Nursing is more than a career; it is a calling. Nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them.” 1st chapter Secret Club The Sinker - I came away with lots of thoughts and feelings after reading this. Nurses laugh that people think their job is TV-series sexy.” There are many inequalities between nurses, doctors, administrators and technicians. Bullying, known as ”eating their young” continues to be prevalent amongst nurses. Pg. 137 “Nurse bulling is a significant problem in many corners of the world, etc. Worldwide, experts have estimated that one in three nurse quits her job because of it, and that bullying—not wages—is the major cause of a global critical nursing shortage.” This saddens me as the shortage of nurses would speak to the need for mentors and those willing to help the new become proficient in their career. Alexandra Robbins not only shows, she tells in this revealing expose of the modern day state of nursing. Interspersing the stories of four women who chose nursing, as their career, is the reality of the good, the bad and the ugly of our nations hospitals, staffing and the health care system. Robbins balances this gloomy picture with testimony from nurses on why they sign up and sign on for this often-thankless job. Though those considering a career in nursing could be discouraged by this narrative, Robbins concludes with some practical solutions to correct the problem, leaving us with a sense of hope. It is an eye-opener not to be missed. Nurses are the true champions, our caregivers, and deserve our utmost respect.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins is an eye-opening, riveting insight into the nursing profession. Although full of facts it reads like a novel and maintains an intriguing pace. The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals. We read about these bedside heroes, who perform on a daily basis, in a world full of joy, heartbreak, violence, humor and emotional turmoil. Nursing is among the most The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins is an eye-opening, riveting insight into the nursing profession. Although full of facts it reads like a novel and maintains an intriguing pace. The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals. We read about these bedside heroes, who perform on a daily basis, in a world full of joy, heartbreak, violence, humor and emotional turmoil. Nursing is among the most important professions in the world. There are few other careers in which people are so devoted to a noble purpose. Nurses are remarkable yet neglected. They are strong-willed, flawed human beings that help us to live, die and survive every day. Readers are left better educated with healthcare and undoubtedly appreciative of the remarkable nurses who provide it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    When I read the blurb I couldn’t wait to read this book. You see, besides being an avid reader, as well as a reviewer, I am also a Registered Nurse. While this book does bring up some very important issues that all nurses deal with on a day to day basis, I was just a bit disappointed. The main focus of this book seems to be ER nurses. There are so many other specialties in the nursing field, it was a shame to see that ER nurses got the spotlight so to speak. Although, I am currently a floor nurs When I read the blurb I couldn’t wait to read this book. You see, besides being an avid reader, as well as a reviewer, I am also a Registered Nurse. While this book does bring up some very important issues that all nurses deal with on a day to day basis, I was just a bit disappointed. The main focus of this book seems to be ER nurses. There are so many other specialties in the nursing field, it was a shame to see that ER nurses got the spotlight so to speak. Although, I am currently a floor nurse, I have been an RN for quite a long time. I have worked in several different areas during my long career such as the ICU, Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Cath Lab, patient teaching in a wellness program and finally working on a telemetry floor that deals with cardiac patients and stroke patients. So, I wish that the author would have included ICU and floor nurses among those that she wrote about. She followed four nurses and it would have been so much better if she would have written about some of the issues that nurses in those areas deal with as well. While ER nursing is definitely a specialty that requires a certain set of skills so do the other areas. If you put an ER nurse in the unit or the floor, she would be like a fish out of water. And while they see patients for a few hours and do get the abuse, the ICU and floor nurses deal with those issues and difficult patients as well as difficult family members for days. That she included a quote from an ER nurse that stated that ER nurses "are the rock stars", was disheartening. We are ALL ROCK STARS. Also, it seemed to appear that there is a lot of drug abuse amongst nurses. It is a problem for sure, however, it is not as widespread as I felt this book made it seem. In fact, there are policies and procedures that make it very difficult to steal drugs. When I first became an RN that wasn't the case, but nowadays it is so much harder to take narcotics and get away with it. However, in general, this book is well written and it does bring to light some of the problems we as nurses face continually. Staffing, stress, patient satisfaction surveys, both physical and verbal abuse from patients as well as family members just to name a few. So, even though I wish there would have been more focus on other areas and not mainly the ER, it is a book that I hope everyone reads. I will definitely recommend this book to my co-workers and actually already have. I will also recommend lay people to read it as well. I think it is an important book and does bring up some pertinent issues that need to be addressed in order to get our healthcare system headed in the correct direction. The title for me was misleading and perhaps should have made it clearer that it was mainly about the ER nurses. However, since this book did include topics that are definitely problems in all areas of the nursing world, I am giving it four stars. My full review can be found at www.wordgurgle.blogspot.com

  10. 5 out of 5

    Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship

    This is an interesting insider look at nursing. It doesn’t seem intellectually rigorous, so I’d take it with a grain of salt, but it is compelling reading. For a reader not in the medical profession, it did make me aware of many of the issues nurses face. Slightly over half of the book consists of the narratives of four nurses whom the author followed for a year. Robbins is a strong storyteller and so these sections make for compelling reading, recounting the challenges the nurses face in their p This is an interesting insider look at nursing. It doesn’t seem intellectually rigorous, so I’d take it with a grain of salt, but it is compelling reading. For a reader not in the medical profession, it did make me aware of many of the issues nurses face. Slightly over half of the book consists of the narratives of four nurses whom the author followed for a year. Robbins is a strong storyteller and so these sections make for compelling reading, recounting the challenges the nurses face in their professional and personal lives. These women were generous in baring their lives for inspection, and their stories ring true even as they sometimes read like fiction, with a fast pace and lots of dialogue. One is recovering from an addiction to painkillers, which are all too easily obtained in the hospital; another is hurt by her exclusion from a clique at work; a third, as a brand-new nurse, struggles with her own social awkwardness as she learns the ropes. They all face work problems, including high patient loads and hospital policies that consistently disfavor nurses, along with personal problems such as infertility or unsupportive marriages. At the same time, they are all dedicated to their jobs and find moments of triumph and connection. These stories are likely not representative of all nurses, however. All four protagonists work in hospital emergency rooms in the same unnamed city; all four are American-born white women under 45 (per the author, the average age of American nurses is 47); three are close friends with each other, and the fourth is a friendly acquaintance. I suspect the author has taken significant creative license, given the amount of dialogue and detail, and the fact that although she follows these women for a predetermined one-year period, all four stories wrap up with Hollywood endings. And the author uncritically sides with these four nurses in all of their many conflicts at work. When one of them clashes with another nurse, the other nurse is described as lazy, bitchy, gossipy, cliquish, playing favorites, or putting profits before patients. When it’s with a doctor, the doctor is a bully or egotistical. One Dr. Baron (presumably not her real name) is actually referred to as “Dr. Bitch” by the author. In another case, a perky nurse whom the socially awkward Sam dislikes is labeled as annoying; when she volunteers to help others, she’s dismissed as seeking approval from colleagues rather than genuinely caring for patients, and when she’s upset by Sam’s brusque behavior, she’s condemned as a drama queen. As we eventually learn, nursing is a high-conflict profession and so the amount of discord these women experience may be typical; however, the author’s bending over backwards to justify her principals while blaming all their personality conflicts entirely on other people draws her credibility into question. Interspersed with these four narratives are essays about various issues affecting nurses. These sections are informative: I had no idea, for instance, that nurses are regularly assaulted by patients and visitors (and sometimes even colleagues), to the point that American nurses have the third most dangerous profession, after police and corrections officers. And unlike those first two groups, nurses are provided with little protection, and physical assaults routinely go unreported and are not taken seriously by hospital administrators. Hospitals tend to focus on other numbers, such as patient satisfaction surveys (which by law can affect the funding they receive); but hospitals with higher patient satisfaction are often lower-performing in terms of medical outcomes, and vice versa. But these essays are often wordy and sometimes muddled. For instance, the author writes about how the stereotype of nurse as sex kitten is harmful to the profession, then goes into bizarre detail about the sexual encounters that do occur: “Nurses have gotten intimate in on-call rooms, equipment lockers, storage closets, linen closets, family conference rooms, stairwells, visitor bathrooms, libraries, patient rooms, offices, and parking lots.” It is hard to see how this list of locations is helpful either to readers or to the author’s argument that nurses deserve more respect. Some of the author’s tips for patients are helpful: avoid teaching hospitals in July, when new interns and residents start and death rates spike; know that anything wacky or ugly that you say is going in your chart; make sure doctors and nurses wash their hands on entering your room, and remind them if they don’t. Others seem less than useful: if I ever visited the ER with an embarrassing problem, I’d rather not know that nurses were laughing and placing bets behind my back. Some suggestions for families, such as handling basic care themselves, mostly seem like a nurse’s wish list. In the end, I’m giving 3.5 stars for the narratives and 2.5 for the essays, for 3 stars overall. I appreciate this book’s giving me a window on a profession I knew little about, and found the nurse stories to be page-turners; but there are too many false notes for me to recommend it wholeheartedly.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    5.0 out of 5 stars -- Anyone who is a nurse, who knows a nurse, or who might one day need a nurse, should read this book. Although this non-fiction book focuses on four Emergency Room nurses and their personal experiences at various hospitals in an unnamed, large US city, it also includes reflections and anecdotes contributed by many other nurses from all over the world. The meticulous research by the author is evident as statistics and cited material provide a valid snapshot of many issues impo 5.0 out of 5 stars -- Anyone who is a nurse, who knows a nurse, or who might one day need a nurse, should read this book. Although this non-fiction book focuses on four Emergency Room nurses and their personal experiences at various hospitals in an unnamed, large US city, it also includes reflections and anecdotes contributed by many other nurses from all over the world. The meticulous research by the author is evident as statistics and cited material provide a valid snapshot of many issues important to nurses, other healthcare workers, and patients. The voices of the many different types of licensed nurses are heard loud and clear -- LPN, RN, NP, CS, CRNA, DNP with all types of special certifications to add more credentials indicating specialty of practice. Two main points are clear -- nurses mostly love what they do, and they deserve respect and support. Long gone are the days when a nurse dressed in white and wore a cap, stood when a doctor came for rounds, and routinely did as bid without question. Nurses are sentient, compassionate and well-educated practitioners in their own right, doing what they do best -- providing physical care, giving spiritual and emotional support, as well as meticulously assessing, planning, documenting, and evaluating the patient's response and condition at all times. They don't want to be medical doctors, and feel that being a nurse is not a second tier position but one that should be valued on the same level as part of the health care team. When blatant bias against nurses is revealed herein, it's obvious that, although nursing has come a long way since the early days, there is still a long way to go to change perception and treatment of these professionals. When my family gathers for any occasion, there are among us 4 nurses (one an NP), 2 medical doctors (one a hospitalist and the other a surgeon) and 2 pharmacists. Everyone in the entire family has grown up in an atmosphere where "work stories" and arguments dominate the conversation as everyone wants to share his or her own point of view in situations that have occurred where each person may have felt that the "others" didn't respond appropriately or give due respect to the title, the work, the need, or the decision. It comes down to this -- each one of us wants to feel that we are equally valued for our area of expertise. That doesn't always happen in my family, and neither does it happen in real life practice. Working on a "team" can sometimes be a game of oneupsmanship or a darned if you do and darned if you don't situation. For example: the doctors may not really want the middle of the night phone calls, but the nurses and pharmacists have to make them whether they want to or not. For all that we each want to provide the best care for every patient, the team situation is often adversarial because it usually boils down to the fact that much of what nurses or pharmacists can do still relies ultimately on a doctor's order (though that is changing). Regardless, each member of the health care team has his or her own role to perform in the complex delivery of effective patient care. Thus, I didn't really care for the "heroes of the hospital" phrase in the title as all members uniquely contribute in their responsibilities. I've been a Registered Nurse for 37 years and have practiced in many different settings in hospitals, clinics, EMS, education, publishing, and, now as a school nurse. I can't think of another career that provides so many different avenues for change and self-fulfillment from one basic degree. As one quote puts it, "nursing isn't just a job -- it's who I am." I could relate to almost every scenario presented in this book, and only wish that it had followed the stories of nurses from other departments besides the ER. I laughed when I read that some ER nurses consider themselves the "rock stars" of nursing -- that's only their opinion as I'd bet that many other specialty nurses feel that same way about their own (ICU and OR nurses to name two) -- and, really, how is that label even determined? Regardless, this book reminded me again of why I stayed in nursing and I hope that the coming generation of nurses will be just as satisfied as I have been in my chosen vocation. I'll be recommending this book to everyone as it offers insight into a profession that will be much in demand as baby boomers age and health care initiatives change how health care is provided -- and by whom. I'd like to thank Workman Publishing and Edelweiss for an ARC digital copy of this book for review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kevin McAllister

    There's a section in this book where nurses admit they find cops and firemen very attractive. They say the reason behind this is that They get us. They are right there in the trenches with us, and know what it feels like to not only save people, but to loose them as well." So why is that we teach our kids that cops and firemen are heroes, but nurses are caregivers? Yes, they are caregivers, but was this book demonstrates time and time again, nurses are the true heroes of our health care system; There's a section in this book where nurses admit they find cops and firemen very attractive. They say the reason behind this is that They get us. They are right there in the trenches with us, and know what it feels like to not only save people, but to loose them as well." So why is that we teach our kids that cops and firemen are heroes, but nurses are caregivers? Yes, they are caregivers, but was this book demonstrates time and time again, nurses are the true heroes of our health care system; even more so than the doctors. It's about time we start spreading this around. Read this book and spread the word around.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Menolly

    I was very disappointed by this book. I love Alexandra's other books but this book was not particularly well researched and didn't consider the entire healthcare landscape. Her interviews had some extremely biased, false and inappropriate opinions that Alexandra doesn't challenge or analyze. Throughout the book, if a nurse says it, it's fact. But if a nurse doesn't like a policy or practice (despite its proven efficacy), Alexandra gets combative and loses her objectivity. For example, one nurse I was very disappointed by this book. I love Alexandra's other books but this book was not particularly well researched and didn't consider the entire healthcare landscape. Her interviews had some extremely biased, false and inappropriate opinions that Alexandra doesn't challenge or analyze. Throughout the book, if a nurse says it, it's fact. But if a nurse doesn't like a policy or practice (despite its proven efficacy), Alexandra gets combative and loses her objectivity. For example, one nurse claims that many women cry rape in the ER. Her "data" is one example of a drunk teenager. The current research doesn't support this claim and Alexandra doesn't offer any analysis. I would highly suggest she read "Missoula" to have more of an understanding of the facts on sexual assault. She also makes sweeping claims about patient satisfaction surveys using only extreme and often unverifiable examples. How would a nurse know the hospital got a poor rating because the patient's room was cold when the surveys are confidential? Do they truly believe every patient gives poor reviews for superficial reasons? Is it reasonable to say that patients should have no voice in their care? She blames Health care reform when specific hospitals do corrupt things to get better patient surveys but it seems that she doesn't fully understand performance based reimbursement. Hospitals are reimbursed off a myriad of quality measures that are focused on quality of care which requires good nursing. So despite her reading the Atlantic article that discusses patient satisfaction surveys, most hospitals are not firing nurses and hiring professional chefs. If that was the case, they'd fail every other measure and lose out on way more money. This section of the book is so biased and pointed, she actually, in my opinion, hurts case for hiring more nurses by presenting emotionally charged opinions and extreme anecdotes. Overall, Alexandra seemed so extremely attached to her subjects and her "cause" that it harmed the book's intended purpose. I would love to know why she chose to write this book and why she chose to not be objective.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    This is the best and most honest book upon NURSING, as a profession and from within the workplace that I have ever read. In several chapters I learned more than I wanted to know, that's true, especially when it so closely detailed their personal lives. And the book overall pertains to ER Nursing in a specific manner to a 5 star level perfection. Although yet, that incisive detail does not always carry over to other myriad methods and placement positions in the Nursing working world. Parallels ex This is the best and most honest book upon NURSING, as a profession and from within the workplace that I have ever read. In several chapters I learned more than I wanted to know, that's true, especially when it so closely detailed their personal lives. And the book overall pertains to ER Nursing in a specific manner to a 5 star level perfection. Although yet, that incisive detail does not always carry over to other myriad methods and placement positions in the Nursing working world. Parallels exist though in many regards to all the other departmental Hospital location nursing positions but with different aspects of adrenaline rush. Her 4 cases/tales of "from the nurse's mouth" were superlative examples. Especially the Lara story which is so rarely acknowledged. Kudos! There is so much burn out. Working with and amongst nurses for so many years in a Nursing School BSN/MSN program for their medical library/research, clinical rotation admins, etc. etc. I have ALWAYS inquired upon the "eating their young" aspect. Always! It is still very alive and well, despite the higher proportion of males in the current classes and professorship positions. It's a tough job and stressful, but vastly under-examined. If anything this book did not explain enough the physical hardships on the nurses' bodies, beyond all the mental and diplomatic stress.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Lindsay

    Wow. To say this book is "amazing" is selling it short. As a former RN myself, I fell in love with the concept as well as the four nurses portrayed. But let's be clear: while the book is called THE NURSES, it's more about ER nurses. That's okay because the author does such a fabulous job of pulling quotes from other disciplines/specialities giving the book a well-balanced voice from nurses all over the U.S (some studies even cite international journals and health practice), as well as unique per Wow. To say this book is "amazing" is selling it short. As a former RN myself, I fell in love with the concept as well as the four nurses portrayed. But let's be clear: while the book is called THE NURSES, it's more about ER nurses. That's okay because the author does such a fabulous job of pulling quotes from other disciplines/specialities giving the book a well-balanced voice from nurses all over the U.S (some studies even cite international journals and health practice), as well as unique perspectives from clinical instructors to nurses at the top of their clinical game. While THE NURSES may be non-fiction, it reads like a novel. That's a compliment to the author who has a way of turning day-to-day life into a story. You'll connect with these women, who are real-life women working in an unnamed US city at psuedonymn hospitals. Robbins delves head-first into the subculture of caring, medicine, and health professionals--notably nurses, but you'll see there's not a tech, MD, respiratory therapist, or unit secretary not represented. To say an undercover project like this is brave would be an understatement. I found myself nodding in agreement, rolling my eyes at other times (mostly because I *know*, been there), and other times, completely appauled at some of the behavior accounted. Robbins took on a serious issue--that of exposing some of the ugly underbelly of medicine/hospitals--so we can be better consumers of health, better able to sympathize with the men and women who spend their lives caretaking and advocating for the patient. I felt a particular bond with these nurses, a sisterhood to quote Robbins, and feel this is a book that is a must-read by any nurse, any former nurse, those considering a career in the health professions (and it really needs to be read by doctors, med students, nursing students and graduate RNs). It may make you reconsider your choices, your career path, and it will most definitely make you better at what you do.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    Robbins is one of those authors for whom I don't care all that much what the subject is—the book is likely to be interesting regardless. Pledged and The Overachievers are both books that I've reread multiple times; I enjoy the breadth of research mixed with personal stories. (As a non-Robbins example, What It Takes to Pull Me Through worked well for me for the same reasons.) The Nurses is a tricky one. It's the same basic idea as the books mentioned above: follow a small group of people for rough Robbins is one of those authors for whom I don't care all that much what the subject is—the book is likely to be interesting regardless. Pledged and The Overachievers are both books that I've reread multiple times; I enjoy the breadth of research mixed with personal stories. (As a non-Robbins example, What It Takes to Pull Me Through worked well for me for the same reasons.) The Nurses is a tricky one. It's the same basic idea as the books mentioned above: follow a small group of people for roughly a year; construct a narrative with research and other anecdotal stories; fit the pieces into an entertaining, informative book. It's just, this one seems a tad biased. I think of Pledged as a book where the author worked pretty hard to, if not avoid biases altogether, let the reader come to their own conclusions about sororities. I think of The Overachievers as a book where there isn't a huge risk of bias to begin with. But here: [This book] is meant to represent nurses' perspectives and to celebrate them (25). The four ER nurses Robbins follows are the bones of the book, as you might expect; the reader is meant to get invested in them and their stories. Sometimes that is at the expense of other characters in the book. Charlene, a nursing supervisor, is introduced to the reader as 'insufferable' (27) and 'Scatterbrained and prone to favoritism' (30). If she has depth, it doesn't show. If this book were your introduction to nursing and doctor/patient relations, you might come away with the impression that doctors are all egotistical bullies (except for the very few who are reasonable human beings) and nurses are all belaboured, hard-working, intelligent saints who don't receive their due (except for the very few who are lazy bullies). (Don't get me wrong: I think nurses have a tremendously challenging job in more ways than one, and this is hardly the first thing I've read to suggest that they're underappreciated and overworked. I just wanted more nuance.) Oh, I don't know. The anecdotes are interesting—in some cases a lone anecdote could be the starting point for a much longer piece—but...not misleading, exactly, but without adequate context. A nurse in India commits suicide following her hospital's lack of response to a doctor sexually harassing her (51)—which is unacceptable in any context, but doesn't address the fact that sexual harassment (and response to it) is a giant problem in India in general. Telling me that more than half of nurses in a survey in South Korea have been sexually harassed (also page 51) doesn't tell me much because I don't know what the statistics are like in South Korea to begin with. Or this: In an unscientific poll for the purpose of this book, I asked more than 100 nurses whether they or any of the nurses they worked with had engaged in a sexual relationship with a doctor, nurse, or other coworker. Eighty-seven percent said yes (78). I know she agreed that it was unscientific, but—how does that compare to other workplaces with hundreds of workers? And if she asked people who worked at the same hospitals, what's to say that they aren't all thinking of the same nurse who happens to be boffing a doctor? Last grumpy comment, and then I'll move on: Patiently explaining gallows humour and the idea that doctors and nurses use it (189) insults my intelligence. So does describing the 'July effect' as 'a major secret about hospital life' (258). Despite all my grumpiness...while I would recommend reading other books about medicine in addition to this, I would recommend The Nurses as an accessible read that's sympathetic to a profession that doesn't always get much respect. I met a woman last year, at a college reunion, who told me she was a nurse—and then said, apologetically, that she knew it was a stereotypically 'female' and 'caring' profession... I asked her if she enjoyed the work, and she said yes. And isn't that largely what counts? It seemed so sad to me that she was devaluing work she obviously valued (and which, you know, is difficult and necessary and, well, valuable) because she thought other people wouldn't value it. Not too much of that here.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I received a free advance copy to review. I will start off by saying this isn't my usual genre - I am much more of an avid fiction reader. That being said, I was extremely interested in the premise of this book: shadowing different ER nurses and providing a peek inside their lives. It started off strong, I was hooked in by each of the different unique women and their perspectives. However, I ended up not finishing this - it just couldn't hold my interest. I liked the parts that involved the nurses I received a free advance copy to review. I will start off by saying this isn't my usual genre - I am much more of an avid fiction reader. That being said, I was extremely interested in the premise of this book: shadowing different ER nurses and providing a peek inside their lives. It started off strong, I was hooked in by each of the different unique women and their perspectives. However, I ended up not finishing this - it just couldn't hold my interest. I liked the parts that involved the nurses and their day-to-day, but the informative, essay-like commentary in between just didn't interest me. It was too many facts and research, and a lot of it started sounding all the same. It felt weird inserted in between the real life stories. I would have preferred a different format... less essays and research and more just a look inside the nurses' days, then drawing my own conclusions about how flawed the system is and how hard they work. This may be just because I don't typically read a lot of non-fiction.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emilie

    So the dates for this are completely inaccurate because I forgot to put this book in while I was reading it 😂 I loved this book a lot. It was out of my comfort zone for genres. I usually read contemporary fiction or fantasy, so a nonfiction novel was way out there for me. This really shows the real things that go on as a nurse in the ER and in other places. It also shows what they go through in a days work. As an aspiring nurse, this really made it clear as to what I’d be going through and the pr So the dates for this are completely inaccurate because I forgot to put this book in while I was reading it 😂 I loved this book a lot. It was out of my comfort zone for genres. I usually read contemporary fiction or fantasy, so a nonfiction novel was way out there for me. This really shows the real things that go on as a nurse in the ER and in other places. It also shows what they go through in a days work. As an aspiring nurse, this really made it clear as to what I’d be going through and the problems that come with this profession. These include a lot of mental health issues and physical problems. I loved this and recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about what happens in the ER as a nurse and challenges that nurses face daily!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I enjoyed the stories shared in this and all the research provided on nursing issues. However, I felt that the way research was discussed came from a biased point of view, and at times it was too much. I wanted to read more about the nurses' personal experiences and less about supportive research. The quotes at the end were everything though, and I can't wait to be a nurse! - Dec 2018!! I enjoyed the stories shared in this and all the research provided on nursing issues. However, I felt that the way research was discussed came from a biased point of view, and at times it was too much. I wanted to read more about the nurses' personal experiences and less about supportive research. The quotes at the end were everything though, and I can't wait to be a nurse! - Dec 2018!!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    "At 3.5 million strong in the United States and more than 20 million worldwide, nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers. The women who comprise 90 percent of the workforce are a unique sisterhood whose bonds are forged through the most dramatic miracles and traumas as well as the tedious, routine tasks necessary to keep human bodies functioning. Nursing, for brave men and women, is “like a secret club that holds immense emotional joy and fulfillment in spite of shared tragedies,” a "At 3.5 million strong in the United States and more than 20 million worldwide, nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers. The women who comprise 90 percent of the workforce are a unique sisterhood whose bonds are forged through the most dramatic miracles and traumas as well as the tedious, routine tasks necessary to keep human bodies functioning. Nursing, for brave men and women, is “like a secret club that holds immense emotional joy and fulfillment in spite of shared tragedies,” a Michigan nurse practitioner told me. Nurses call the profession a secret club because their experiences are so novel, their jobs so intimate and occasionally horrifying, their combination of compassion and desensitization so peculiar, that they imagine nobody else could understand what it is like to work in their once-white shoes." Nurses is an insightful and thought provoking expose of the health care profession, the result of more than a year of research, undercover investigation, and interviews by best selling author and journalist Alexandra Robbins. Interspersed with facts and figures, Robbins narrative shares the experience of four ER nurses, Molly, Juliette, Lara and Sam, to explore the major challenges nurses face in the workplace including sexual harassment, bullying, drug addiction, violence, and stress. As these women try to uphold the tenants of their profession, they struggle with uncooperative colleagues, dismissive doctors and uncaring administrators. With profit clearly prioritised over providing quality health care, Robbins also reveals disturbing details about unheeded policies, poor standards of cleanliness and deliberate under staffing in many hospitals. It is a frightening glimpse into an institution that is responsible for our health and safety at a time when we are most vulnerable. Written with heart, detail and honesty, Nurses is an eye opening look at the frustrations and joys of this undervalued profession. A must read not only for any one contemplating joining the field but also for those already embedded within it, and anyone interested in what really goes on behind the scenes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I have a bunch of nurse friends. I already knew they were amazing from hearing them on the phone talking to their patients. They really do care about the needs and health of their patients. I also am friends with some doctors as well. To be honest, I have been fortunate that both my nurse and doctor friends are very nice. Unlike some of the doctors and nurses featured in this book. When reading this book you really need to take the situations, attitudes, and the healthcare system with a grain of I have a bunch of nurse friends. I already knew they were amazing from hearing them on the phone talking to their patients. They really do care about the needs and health of their patients. I also am friends with some doctors as well. To be honest, I have been fortunate that both my nurse and doctor friends are very nice. Unlike some of the doctors and nurses featured in this book. When reading this book you really need to take the situations, attitudes, and the healthcare system with a grain of salt or you could get stuck on the details. I liked that the author featured 4 different nurses from different backgrounds and locations. It gave me good insight of just how different each hospital operates and how the nurses handled the situations. After reading this book, I give full credit to the nurses. For without them you might still be stuck in a hospital or worse.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Well researched, this is an absolutely absorbing and somewhat alarming look at today's nursing profession. Well researched, this is an absolutely absorbing and somewhat alarming look at today's nursing profession.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Adele

    I laughed & cried, cheered & booed, shouted & swore at this book. Though I experienced many, and was certainly aware of, similar situations (high on my 'Personally Experienced' list is lateral bullying from She-Who-Shall-Remain-Publicly-Unnamed) over my 40 years of hospital [maternal-fetal] nursing, the book is still quite an eye-opener. Ms Robbins's final chapter is titled "Things You Can Do". "You" refers to hospitals and managers, the public, aspiring nurses, and current nurses. If we ALL of I laughed & cried, cheered & booed, shouted & swore at this book. Though I experienced many, and was certainly aware of, similar situations (high on my 'Personally Experienced' list is lateral bullying from She-Who-Shall-Remain-Publicly-Unnamed) over my 40 years of hospital [maternal-fetal] nursing, the book is still quite an eye-opener. Ms Robbins's final chapter is titled "Things You Can Do". "You" refers to hospitals and managers, the public, aspiring nurses, and current nurses. If we ALL of us do our part, then there may be hope for the future of our healthcare. Now ... about those politicians ...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    For anyone who is thinking about going into nursing or anyone who is already a nurse, this is a great read! It talks a lot about what goes on behind the scenes in the hospital and what happens on a nurse’s shift!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    This came highly recommended by a nurse I know: she's been an NP for 20 years and was a NICU and ER nurse in Baltimore for 19 years before that, so if she tells me that a book on nursing is gripping, accurate, and worth recommending to new and aspiring nurses, I believe her (and you probably should too). It was definitely gripping. I spent a week telling everyone snippets of the (mostly horrifying and funding-related) facts I was learning. Every time I left work exhausted after multiple storytim This came highly recommended by a nurse I know: she's been an NP for 20 years and was a NICU and ER nurse in Baltimore for 19 years before that, so if she tells me that a book on nursing is gripping, accurate, and worth recommending to new and aspiring nurses, I believe her (and you probably should too). It was definitely gripping. I spent a week telling everyone snippets of the (mostly horrifying and funding-related) facts I was learning. Every time I left work exhausted after multiple storytimes, outreaches, difficult desk shifts, whatever, I said (to myself and everyone around me), "If I were a nurse, I'd still have six hours left to work AND I wouldn't have had a lunch break AND I wouldn't have been able to pee AND I probably would have been assaulted! And I definitely would have had to clean up a lot of bodily fluids!" So, perspective. Thanks, book. The writing was smooth and readable, totally the sort of nonfiction that has a lot of potential readers and is a great one to have in your back pocket for RA. I'm grateful that it ended on a positive note, because mostly it left me feeling terrified of hospitalization, and concerned for nurses and hospital funding everywhere. (Give them adequate staffing and let them pee!) And honestly, the appendix of helpful tips if you're ever in the hospital was so practical and useful that I'm considering photocopying it for future reference. Also, I'm never paying attention to "patient satisfaction" ratings ever, only nurse-patient staffing ratios. Not that I'm likely to be someone with a choice of hospitals, but still.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie R.

    As a nurse, I disagreed with the portrayal of my occupation in this book. Although I have no direct ER RN experience, I feel like the author exploited the worst or most scandalous stories, especially in the first part of the book. It felt like a gossipy, reality drama rather than an objective overview. I also thought she drew wrong conclusions from her research. I was very frustrated with the author using the terms "sisterhood" and "murses" as that gender distinction is too emphasized. I think s As a nurse, I disagreed with the portrayal of my occupation in this book. Although I have no direct ER RN experience, I feel like the author exploited the worst or most scandalous stories, especially in the first part of the book. It felt like a gossipy, reality drama rather than an objective overview. I also thought she drew wrong conclusions from her research. I was very frustrated with the author using the terms "sisterhood" and "murses" as that gender distinction is too emphasized. I think she should have mentioned the term "murses" as an antecote and not use it constantly - it is NOT something nurses say amongst each other and the male/female nurse distinction is not necessary.. I am so happy with my profession and I wish the author encompassed more positivity - or at least objectivity - around her book to really showcase nurses for who we are.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gail Klein

    I am so fortunate to have won this book in a contest on Instagram! I enjoyed the stories of the individual nurses very much. I am the wife of a very dedicated nurse who worked in the emergency departments of some wonderful hospitals and he also endured some of the challenges of reverse discrimination in terms of being a man in a predominantly female profession. Having also experienced numerous hospitalizations, I understood some of the challenges of the nurses but maybe not to the extent that th I am so fortunate to have won this book in a contest on Instagram! I enjoyed the stories of the individual nurses very much. I am the wife of a very dedicated nurse who worked in the emergency departments of some wonderful hospitals and he also endured some of the challenges of reverse discrimination in terms of being a man in a predominantly female profession. Having also experienced numerous hospitalizations, I understood some of the challenges of the nurses but maybe not to the extent that the book covered. It was interesting but I think a little dry for the layperson so we will see what my husband thinks.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I expected more stories of working with patients. The "stories" were more about the nurses' private lives than about their work as a nurse. There were a lot of generalizations about the difficulties that nurses face with doctors, hospital administration, and patients – a lot of whining. EVERY profession has the same types of issues. I work in advertising. As a woman, I do not have pay equity; it is considered a "man's world"; politics abound; clients are notoriously punishing; and the hours are I expected more stories of working with patients. The "stories" were more about the nurses' private lives than about their work as a nurse. There were a lot of generalizations about the difficulties that nurses face with doctors, hospital administration, and patients – a lot of whining. EVERY profession has the same types of issues. I work in advertising. As a woman, I do not have pay equity; it is considered a "man's world"; politics abound; clients are notoriously punishing; and the hours are long. If you're going to write a book complaining about your career choice, that's fine – but tell us that is what it's about up front.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Ms Robbins follows 4 ER nurses over a year, providing examples and research regarding issues they face when advocating for patient care. Providing real life examples, she demonstrates the interpersonal struggles ER nurses face when trying to provide the best care possible for their patients. I found this to be an interesting and informative read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

    I really enjoyed this nonfiction that follows 4 ER nurses over the course of a year at their various hospitals. Their struggles both at home and work were interesting as well as the various anecdotes about a busy ER and what their days looked like. Recommended for anyone who wants to know more about nursing or what Grey's Anatomy is really like. I really enjoyed this nonfiction that follows 4 ER nurses over the course of a year at their various hospitals. Their struggles both at home and work were interesting as well as the various anecdotes about a busy ER and what their days looked like. Recommended for anyone who wants to know more about nursing or what Grey's Anatomy is really like.

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