When Chicken Soup Isn't Enough: Stories of Nurses Standing up for Themselves, Their Patients, and Their Profession

When Chicken Soup Isn't Enough: Stories of Nurses Standing up for Themselves, Their Patients, and Their Profession

by Suzanne Gordon
     
 

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The reassuring bromides of "chicken soup for the soul" provide little solace for nurses—and the people they serve—in real-life hospitals, nursing homes, schools of nursing, and other settings. In the minefield of modern health care, there are myriad obstacles to quality patient care—including work overload, inadequate funds for nursing education and

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Overview

The reassuring bromides of "chicken soup for the soul" provide little solace for nurses—and the people they serve—in real-life hospitals, nursing homes, schools of nursing, and other settings. In the minefield of modern health care, there are myriad obstacles to quality patient care—including work overload, inadequate funds for nursing education and research, and poor communication between and within the professions, to name only a few. The seventy RNs whose stories are collected here by the award-winning journalist Suzanne Gordon know that effective advocacy isn't easy. It takes nurses willing to stand up for themselves, their coworkers, their patients, and the public.

When Chicken Soup Isn't Enough brings together compelling personal narratives from a wide range of nurses from across the globe. The assembled profiles in professional courage provide new insight into the daily challenges that RNs face in North America and abroad—and how they overcome them with skill, ingenuity, persistence, and individual and collective advocacy at work and in the community. In this collection, we meet RNs working at the bedside, providing home care, managing hospital departments, teaching and doing research, lobbying for quality patient care, and campaigning for health care reform.

Their stories are funny, sad, deeply moving, inspiring, and always revealing of the different ways that nurses make their voices heard in the service of their profession. The risks and rewards, joys and sorrows, of nursing have rarely been captured in such vivid first-person accounts. Gordon and the authors of the essays contained in this book have much to say about the strengths and shortcomings of health care today—and the role that nurses play as irreplaceable agents of change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"These stories show how nurses have stepped up their care to include advocating for patients and offering solutions to some of these problems while continuing to perform their duties with expertise and compassion. Increasingly, nurses are self-advocates who participate actively in determining the parameters of good patient care. . . . Each chapter is complete unto itself and a good read; taken as a whole, the chapters clearly suggest that nurses are defining and implementing important new roles for themselves in the modern health care delivery system—a development that bodes well for patients, the system, and nurses."—Choice, January 2011

"When Chicken Soup Isn't Enough is an excellent collection capturing the real work done by nurses. It demonstrates that the triumphs and struggles of nurses are universal."—Kathleen Burke, RN-BC, BSN, UCSF Medical Center

"These concise first-person narratives by nurses from around the world provide a magnificent testimony to the power of the nursing profession to effect change. Their common theme is to stand up, speak out, and take action against inadequate care, unsafe working conditions, physician arrogance, and outmoded, condescending conceptions of the nurse's role in contemporary health care. These are the voices of nurses who do not know their places—to the benefit of patients, and of us all."—Charles L. Bardes, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801477508
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Series:
The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work Series
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
1,112,276
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Gordon is coeditor of the Cornell University Press series, The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work, and was program leader of the Robert Wood Johnson-funded Nurse Manager in Action Program.

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