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I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
     

I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

4.7 10
by Lee Gutkind (Editor)
 

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This collection of true narratives reflects the dynamism and diversity of nurses, who provide the first vital line of patient care. Here, nurses remember their first “sticks,” first births, and first deaths, and reflect on what gets them though long, demanding shifts, and keeps them in the profession. The stories reveal many voices from nurses at

Overview

This collection of true narratives reflects the dynamism and diversity of nurses, who provide the first vital line of patient care. Here, nurses remember their first “sticks,” first births, and first deaths, and reflect on what gets them though long, demanding shifts, and keeps them in the profession. The stories reveal many voices from nurses at different stages of their careers: One nurse-in-training longs to be trusted with more “important” procedures, while another questions her ability to care for nursing home residents. An efficient young emergency room nurse finds his life and career irrevocably changed by a car accident. A nurse practitioner wonders whether she has violated professional boundaries in her care for a homeless man with AIDS, and a home care case manager is the sole attendee at a funeral for one of her patients. What connects these stories is the passion and strength of the writers, who struggle against burnout and bureaucracy to serve their patients with skill, empathy, and strength.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Booklist Review
March 15, 2013

Expect to be moved by this anthology of tales from the front line, written by veteran nurses and nurses-in-training. One contributor describes her experiences as a nursing student at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, when the disease was called gay-related immune-deficiency syndrome, particularly her “nurse’s intuition,” that is, knowing when a patient is going to die. “There was a stigma to the work I was doing,” she writes. “But I eventually got to a point where I wasn’t afraid to say, when someone asked what I did, ‘I work with persons who are dying of AIDS.’” Several of the essayists lace their emotional tales with humor. A University of Pennsylvania nursing student records her friends’ reaction to her job: “So you actually cleaned up poop?” A woman who survived Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a teen becomes an oncology nurse. And a male nurse recounts watching a person die for the first time. Essayists note that they’re not supposed to get “too close” to patients, but they do it anyway. It’s easy to love these empathetic people, and their beautifully written stories.

— Karen Springen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781937163129
Publisher:
Fourth Chapter Books
Publication date:
04/09/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
57,929
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Editor Lee Gutkind has been exploring the world of medicine through writing for over 20 years. He is the author of Many Sleepless Nights: The World of Organ Transplantation, and the editor of multiple anthologies about health and medicine: Silence Kills: Speaking Out and Saving Lives; Rage and Reconciliation: Inspiring a Health Care Revolution; Healing; Becoming a Doctor; and An Immense New Power to Heal. He is the founder and editor of the magazine Creative Nonfiction, the first and largest literary journal to exclusively publish nonfiction, and has also published the essay collection Forever Fat and two books on writing, The Art of Creative Nonfiction and Keep It Real, among other titles. Gutkind is currently Distinguished Writer in Residence at Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes.

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I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Heather_Wietz More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that really gets into the head of what it's like being a nurse on the front lines of care. Some of the stories are touching - such as experiencing a first birth. Others are very sad - such as experiencing a first death. All in all the writer keeps the narrative moving and creates a wonderful book. A five star book.
David_Bremmerton More than 1 year ago
My mother is a nurse, so this book really hit home with me. I could relate stories my mother has told me to the stories the various nurses tell in the book. It is a very honest, very informative book of personal stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm telling all of my co-workers to read this book. Well worth waiting for the "Back Order".
Anonymous 4 months ago
Love it! It gives you an insight to the world of nursing an as a pre-nursing student it definitely helps to have different experiences and insight into what it's like to become a nurse and the challenges that are faced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DoranneLongPTMS More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing selection of essays written by nurses, ranging from fears of newly-trained nurses, to the reflections of those with decades of experiences. I will never look at a nurse the same again. That said by a physical therapist who has worked along side nurses and already appreciate their risking their own health and wellness while caring for others, usually in over-worked, under-paid environments. In addition, this book as a must-read, for patients, family members, and other caregivers so we can all improve in our care and comfort of others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These stories really take you inside the complex and intimate world of nurses.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jack_Martin More than 1 year ago
Jack Martin Block: 4 The collection of true narratives reflects to us just how hard it is to become a nurse and all the diversity they are faced with everyday. They’re job is up for grabs everyday while they’re in training. This book is a story about coming of age for these writers because in a way they are so new to the field that they are working in, and eventually they finally get over that training plateau and become a ‘real’ nurse. People that are interested in nursing should read this book or someone who wants to change up the style of books they are reading. I wouldn’t suggest reading  this book if you’re not interested in a diary type writing style, it kind of feels like you’re just reading out of someone’s journal about all their hardships and peaks that they remember. The way the book was formatted was irritating because even though it was divided up in chapters, right when you wanted to hear more about the narrators story, it would just switch to the other narrator and you’d never hear from  the other one again. This book is too scattered around with a bunch of different stories floating around, it would be a hard movie to follow because it would have to jump from hospital to hospital, story to story. I would rate this book a 7 out of 10 only because I’m interested in becoming a nurse if I wasn’t I would probably set the book down after the first chapter. This could be useful for a schools curriculum only if this school carried some  type of medical classes.