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

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

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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.
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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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781937163129
  • Publisher: Fourth Chapter Books
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 49,683
  • 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 23, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a great book that really gets into the head of what it's

    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.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    My mother is a nurse, so this book really hit home with me. I co

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 22, 2013

    A must read for all Nurses!

    I'm telling all of my co-workers to read this book. Well worth waiting for the "Back Order".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 30, 2014

    This is an amazing selection of essays written by nurses, rangin

    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.

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

    Posted November 8, 2013

    Takes you inside

    These stories really take you inside the complex and intimate world of nurses.

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

    Posted July 31, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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