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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Shreda Paire, MS, RN, FNP-C(Odyssey HealthCare)
Description: This wonderful book should be part of the standard curriculum for all nursing schools because it considers a subject that is dealt with by almost every nurse in her or his career but is seldom addressed directly — the witnessing of human suffering.
Purpose: The purpose is to give voice to the suffering that nurses witness in patients, families, and even in themselves so that it may be honored and serve to teach them. Not only are these goals worthy, but they are addressed in a remarkable way.
Audience: The book is appropriate for all nurses. Of course, Betty Ferrell is more than a credible authority in the world of palliative care.
Features: This book does a remarkable job of covering the subject of suffering from both nursing and medical perspectives, then from both theological and ethical perspectives as well. The author elevates the everyday actions of the nurse to sacred acts that hold much importance in the care of the sick.
Assessment: This is a remarkable book and its discussion of the sacredness of nursing in the care of those who are suffering reminds me of why I love being a nurse. It should be required reading for all nurses as it is a reminder that dispensing pills and hanging IV bags are the things that get us to the bedside but the truly important part of our work is what we do once we are there, honoring and supporting the suffering patient.