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

( 38 )

Overview

"Doctors heal, or try to, but as nurses we step into the breach, figure out what needs to be done for any given patient today, on this shift, and then, with love and exasperation, do it as best as we can."—from Critical Care

"At my job, people die," writes Theresa Brown, capturing both the burden and the singular importance of her profession. Brown, a former English professor at Tufts University, chronicles here her first year as an R.N. in medical oncology. As she does so, Brown illuminates the unique role of ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$13.57
BN.com price
(Save 32%)$19.99 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (21) from $3.37   
  • New (7) from $10.83   
  • Used (14) from $3.37   
Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price

Overview

"Doctors heal, or try to, but as nurses we step into the breach, figure out what needs to be done for any given patient today, on this shift, and then, with love and exasperation, do it as best as we can."—from Critical Care

"At my job, people die," writes Theresa Brown, capturing both the burden and the singular importance of her profession. Brown, a former English professor at Tufts University, chronicles here her first year as an R.N. in medical oncology. As she does so, Brown illuminates the unique role of nurses in health care, giving us a deeply moving portrait of the day-to-day work nurses do: caring for the person who is ill, not just the illness itself.

Critical Care takes us with Brown as she struggles to tend to her patients' needs, both physical (the rigors of chemotherapy) and emotional (their late-night fears). 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 a twelve-hour day of 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.

As she takes us into the place where patients and nurses meet, Brown shows us the power of human connection in the face of mortality. She does so with a keen sense of humor and remarkable powers of observation, making Critical Care a powerful contribution to the literature of medicine.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Mehmet Oz
“Theresa Brown’s arresting account of life on the wards offers palpable testimony that nurses are first responders and primary healers in our times of crises.”
Julie Salamon
“If Theresa Brown tends her patients as well as she tells her story, they are lucky patients indeed. This absorbing dispatch from the front lines of medical care captures the daily travails and triumphs of nursing with humor, compassion, and sometimes terrifying immediacy.”
Richard M. Cohen
“Critical Care is a gift from an English-teacher-turned-nurse who writes from a deeply human context about her first year in a hospital oncology ward...A book of stirring stories about how we live, care for the sick and die.”
Suzanne Gordon
“Brown shows us what it means to be a nurse and helps us understand that nurses need as much intensive care as their patients. Sometimes more!”
Pauline Chen
“A beautifully written account of a nurse’s first year on the wards, a medical memoir that combines lyricism and compassion with searing honesty and well-timed laugh-out-loud wit...I loved this book.”
Elizabeth Cohen
“A must read for anyone who wants to understand healthcare. This extraordinary book will open your eyes to the reality of nursing. If you or your loved one ends up in the hospital, you’ll wish you had someone like Nurse Brown at your side.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061791550
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 189
  • Sales rank: 477,337
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Theresa Brown, R.N., lives and works in the Pittsburgh area. She received her B.S.N. from the University of Pittsburgh and, during what she calls her past life, a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago. Brown is a regular contributor to the New York Times blog "Well." Her essay "Perhaps Death Is Proud; More Reason to Savor Life" was included in The Best American Science Writing 2009 and The Best American Medical Writing 2009. Critical Care is her first book. She lives with her husband, Arthur Kosowsky, their three children, and their dog.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Author's Note xv

1 Why the Professor Became a Nurse 1

2 Getting My Feet Wet 13

3 First Death 27

4 Benched 43

5 A Day on the Floor 61

6 Condition A 81

7 Openings 99

8 Doctors Don't Do Poop 113

9 Switch 129

10 Access 147

11 Poison 165

Epilogue 183

Acknowledgments 191

A Reader's Guide 195

Questions and Topics for Discussion for Nursing Students and Faculty 197

About the Author 201

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 29, 2012

    Highly recommended

    Everyone who ever questioned the value of the nursing profession should read this book. Theresa Brown offers insight into what a typical work day is for a nurse and how much nurses give of themselves to safely and effectively care for their patients.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    Easy read..

    As a nurse i found this book easy to read & easy to relate to. It took me back to my first year in nursing. It gave me a few good laughs. Im not sure this book would be interesting if you werent a nurse or in nursing school.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2010

    What a lovely book!

    I had trouble putting this book down, except to pause to talk about what I'd read in it. Theresa Brown's account of her first year as a nurse on a cancer floor -- after an earlier career as an English professor -- is wonderfully written, thoughtful, poignant, funny, and enlightening. It speaks to all of us who have ever interacted with the medical system or have contemplated starting a new job. A great read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Compassionate and Insightful View of a Nurse's First Year

    Countless books, movies and television dramas have been devoted to the lives of doctors, but what about those unsung heroes: nurses? Nurses provide the vast majority of patient care: from administering treatment to monitoring vitals to cleaning up accidents to counseling patients and patient advocacy. Still little is known about the professional lives of these vital medical providers.

    Stepping into this void is nurse-author Theresa Brown in Critical Care who documents her first year as a R.N. in the oncology ward of a large teaching hospital. Brown, a former Tufts University English professor, is better equipped than most to share the real day to day lives of modern nurses. Brown explains her mid-life career change from the ivy walls of academia to the stressed halls of the nursing floor as a choice for a more chaotic, but meaningful professional life.

    Critical Care is a beautifully written insider's account of what really happens at a present-day hospital. And the truth is somewhere between the gloried angels of Marcus Welby and the pill-popping antics of Nurse Jackie. Some nurses pull rank and wield authority like a weapon. Some nurses help their colleagues and bond over cups of coffee. Some physicians expect to be treated like demi-gods. Some physicians treat the nurses and their patients with respect. Some patients and their families harangue their caregivers. Some patients praise their nurses as "angels." Every story is, however, compelling.

    As Brown confesses:

    Anyone hearing a true nursing story will not want to believe it. The level of vulnerability, dependence, and fear experienced by patients in the hospital remains far outside the realm of normal, everyday life, and none of us want to imagine ourselves in that position. But people find themselves there, regardless, and they find nurses there too. Doctors don't do poop; they're concerned with other things. That's OK, but it's a difference between the two jobs. Probably they don't do Bibles either. But nurses have to get to the heart of the matter, whatever that may be.

    Getting to the heart of the matter - whether it is finding a Bible for a patient or listening to a few Bruce Springsteen songs with a patient - is what Critical Care does best!



    Publisher: HarperStudio (June 1, 2010), 208 pages.
    Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    I loved this book!  I started out as an Oncology nurse in a Pitt

    I loved this book!  I started out as an Oncology nurse in a Pittsburgh hospital so this could have been written by me!  It brought back so many memories of my past nursing career.  Al who are considering a nursing career should read this book!  

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2013

    Test

    Test

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Notice

    Rainbowdashreader28 liked your page. <br>
    Rainbowdashreader28 friend requested.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Ninja status update

    Anyone on?

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Awsomeness13

    Like page

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    LightBlood

    ???

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Lunashy

    Hi

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Draco

    Kk

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Sirgargamel24

    Sure! Let's be friends!

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2013

    Shades47 Status Update

    Bored and feeling funny. Anyone on?

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Cat#123

    Hey every ones on my face nook page get off please

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    Good read

    Lived it. Love her writing about it. Honest and truthful and heart rendering

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Excellent

    Very realisric view of rewards and frustration of nursing

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Enjoyable read

    Will have to buy for my daughter, also a nurse, now - looking forward to Theresa's next book. Her writing in the New York Times Well blog is thought-provoking.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)