Lives in the Balance: Nurses' Stories from the ICU

Overview

A collection that provides a compelling and insightful look into the world of ICU nurses.

This is a compelling collection of stories by twenty-five nurses working in the ICU, a fast-paced, highly technological environment where patients’ lives are at stake. From cardiac, medical, surgical, and trauma units, these nurses share their experiences of caring for critically ill patients after major surgery, illnesses, accidents, traumas, and even multiple-organ failure. These skilled ...

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Lives in the Balance: Nurses' Stories from the ICU

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Overview

A collection that provides a compelling and insightful look into the world of ICU nurses.

This is a compelling collection of stories by twenty-five nurses working in the ICU, a fast-paced, highly technological environment where patients’ lives are at stake. From cardiac, medical, surgical, and trauma units, these nurses share their experiences of caring for critically ill patients after major surgery, illnesses, accidents, traumas, and even multiple-organ failure. These skilled professionals impart their knowledge and insights, along with accounts of the many challenges, stresses, joys, and dilemmas they face in the ICU. The intense emotional and psychological issues that patients, families — and the nurses, themselves — undergo are also explored. This fascinating collection allows us to peer over the shoulders of nurses while they provide life-saving care to patients.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Making of a Nurse:
“Grey’s Anatomy should be so compelling.”
Globe and Mail

Praise for A Nurse’s Story:
“In a post-SARS world where nurses are finally being recognized for the heroes they always were, A Nurse’s Story is the best-seller no one can put down.”
Montreal Gazette

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780771079825
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Tilda Shalof is a staff nurse in the Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Toronto General Hospital and, in the summer, a camp nurse. She has written three books: the national bestseller A Nurse’s Story, The Making of a Nurse, and most recently, Camp Nurse. She is an outspoken patient advocate, inspiring public speaker, media commentator, and passionate nursing leader. She lives in Toronto.

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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Intensive Care Echo Heron 1

Those ICU Nurses Madeleine Mysko 15

What I Can't Hear Judy Boychuk-Duchscher 21

My First Code Blue Chris Kebbel 25

Stranger in a Strange Land Rosemary Kohr 31

Discernible Markings Claire Thomas 41

Visiting Hours Mary Malone-Ryan 53

Sick Kids Linda L. Lindeke 61

Ray Can't Get No Satisfaction Lisa Huntington 67

Almost Bella Madeiros Manos 73

Three A.M. Sarah Burns 81

O, Holy Night! Bob Hicks 93

Power and Voice Sharon Reynolds 99

Nursing the Machines Cecilia Fulton 109

Why I Stay Karen Higgins 115

That Deep Place Within Elizabeth DiLuciano 123

Rescue Work Tilda Shalof 131

Conducting an Orchestra Sherrill Toldy Collings 145

Tipping the Balance Matt Nathan Castens 153

Tennis, Anyone? Karen Klein 161

Not Just the Patient Gina Rybolt 167

Making Mischief in the Night Janet Hale 171

An Uneasy Feeling Kathy Haley 179

Bridge to Transplant Linda McCaughey 183

Open Heart Meera Rampersad Kissondath 191

Acknowledgment of Permissions 205

About the Editor 207

About the Contributors 209

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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    ICU nurses

    This set of essays of what some nurses have experienced while working with critically ill patients was an eye opener -- and interesting as well

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2011

    Inspirational!

    Lives in the Balance, edited by Tilda Shalof, is a book compiled with stories from nurses who worked in the ICU. This book is filled with exciting and touching stories. The stories told by nurses are often personal and unique. There is a lot to learn while reading stories from many nurses. A nurse, Mary Malone- Ryan, says, "The family is as much a part of your concern as the patient is." A nurse must look for the families needs while treating the patient. It is very difficult for families to cope when one of their loved ones is in the ICU. Another nurse says learn how to "be in the moment and how to connect to a person's inner core." Sometimes things get so hectic and rushed at the hospital that nurses make errors. They need to learn how to calm down and be in the moment. Sharon Renolds says that we need to speak like the person is human even if the patient can't talk. Some nurse's act like the patient isn't there if they can't respond. Sharon talks about how we need to always address the patient like they are human. Merra Rampersad Kissondath says, "Nursing reminds me, each day, to care - in the midst of chaos and imminent death." Nurses have to stay strong in times of emergency. This book exposes what nurses are really thinking during critical times. It is touching to see how much of the nurses heart lies with the patients they treat. They want the patient to survive as much as that patient's family does. I learned that even when a nurse feels very emotional they have to control their emotions so they can be strong for the patient. It is important to know that a patient is still human no matter what their condition is. If they can't talk or if they do not seem to be comprehending anything, they are still human. Nurses have many responsibilities and it is important to do them correctly because people's lives are hanging in the balance. I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned what it takes to work in the ICU and to be a nurse. There are many life lessons that can be learned in the nursing field. It isn't easy to take care of people in emergency situations but trying to save lives makes it worth it.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    Great book!

    Love it!

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    From a nurses view point

    As an LPN in a long term care setting, I was, in a few cases, able to relate to the touching stories thes wonderful nurses shared. I wanted to be a nurse since the age of 5, so I honestly view nursing not juat as a career, but first and foremost, a calling. The men and women who shared their best and worst moments in their specialties in this ever changing profession, which I always find admireable from any nurse. As an LPN for he last 13 years, and a CNA 17 years prior to fulfilling a portion of my dreams in nursing, I hold a great deal of respect for all nurses. ICU, CCU, NICU, and PICU along with other specialized nurses in this well written book have the utmost of my respect which make me so proud to be a nurse. I also loce the fact that the medical terminology is used, then defined in lay terms for those who aren't in this wonderful profession. Thank you to all who shared their stories, and a very special thank you Nurse Tilda for making tour book possible.

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