Friday, April 24, 2015

Nurses Write!

Two books currently on the New Non-Fiction Shelf are nurses' accounts of what it is like to work in their much admired and appreciated profession. The library  has many books written by doctors about their profession, but  it is harder to find similar autobiographical accounts by nurses or nurse memoirs. I don't know why this is, but I am sure that a statistical look at Amazon or Books in Print would bear me out on this inbalance of health care provider's authorship.* When the local high school students come in to research a profession, which is a perennial assignment, we now have two fascinating new nursing memoirs as well as a few from previous years.

Becoming Nursey: from Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Care for Your Patients and Yourself by Kati Kleber, BSN RN (2014) (@nurseeyeroll on Twitter and the blog (610.73 KLE)
I follow Kati Kleber's Twitter account @nurseeyeroll which I find very amusing. In the last year or so, she has been tweeting about her new memoir 'Becoming Nursey' which is meant to help new nurses understand what it takes to become a nurse after graduating from nursing school. She writes that she could not find any book that helped new nurses make the transition from school to actually practicing nursing. So for anyone interested in the profession, or about to start out, diploma in hand, this book tells not only the practical aspects of nursing, but also the emotional side.

The library also owns a collection of essays by nurses and about nursing:
I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse, edited by Lee Gutkind (2013) (610.73 IWA).
This book would also make a good introduction to anyone interested in the nursing profession.

Books about nursing that have been on the library shelves for a little longer:

Critical care : a new nurse faces death, life, and everything in between by Theresa Brown (2010) (616 BROWN)

Intensive Care, the Story of a Nurse by Echo Heron (1987) (610.73 HERON)

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (2002) The PBS TV series is based on this memoir.

And finally, the classic of nursing theory and practice:

Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale (1860) (649.8 NIGHTINGALE)

* My unscientific statistical look at published doctor memoirs versus nurse memoirs bears out my hunch that doctors write about what it takes to become a doctor and what it is like to be a doctor more than nurses write their memoirs.
Amazon search of the terms 'doctor memoirs' (1909) versus 'nurse memoirs' (763)
Google Books search of the terms 'doctor memoirs' (1,020,000) versus 'nurse memoirs' (319,000)
BHPL catalog of books, using the search term 'doctor biography' (51) versus 'nurse biography' (25)

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