The Shift

The Shift

One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives

eBook - 2015
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"Compelling and compassionate human drama. If you want to understand how modern medicine ticks, fasten your seat belt and spend a day in the hospital with Theresa Brown on The Shift." --Danielle Ofri, MD, author of What Doctors Feel

In a book as eye-opening as it is riveting, practicing nurse and regular contributor to the New York Times Theresa Brown invites us to experience not just a day in the life of a nurse but all the life that happens in just one day on a busy teaching hospital's cancer ward. In the span of twelve hours, lives can be lost, life-altering treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stolen. Every day, Theresa Brown holds these lives in her hands. On this day, there are four.

Unfolding in real time under the watchful eyes of Theresa Brown--a dedicated nurse and an insightful chronicler of events--we are given an unprecedented view into the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country. By shift's end, we have witnessed something profound about hope and humanity.

"This meticulous, absorbing shift-in-the-life account of one nurse's day on a cancer ward stands out for its honesty, clarity, and heart. Brown . . . juggles the fears, hopes, and realities of a 12-hour shift in a typical urban hospital with remarkable insight and unflagging care. Her memoir is a must-read for nurses or anyone close to one." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"An empathetic and absorbing narrative as riveting as a TV drama." --Kirkus Reviews

"I am filled with awe and gratitude for the work that the nurses like Theresa Brown do every day. She captures perfectly their central role in any patient's life!" --Susan M. Love, MD, chief visionary officer, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, and author of Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book

Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015
ISBN: 9781616205423
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource


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May 20, 2017

A fantastic read. Loved it.

Feb 27, 2017

I can't remember exactly where I heard of this book (maybe a podcast) but I really enjoyed it. It read like a good novel where you are right there. I've worked in hospitals as a non-medical person and have always admired nurses so much. I thought this was a wonderful window into what it's like to be a nurse for a day.

Jul 11, 2016

I read this in a day. As an oncology nurse, it read very true to me, all the details she captured very well and presented a very realistic picture of a "day in the life" of a nurse on a cancer / transplant floor. It made me both miss the work, and be glad to not be dealing with the intensely busy days anymore. But overall, it reminded me - I miss the contact with patients and colleagues - a well written book.

karcoldelharvic5 Apr 01, 2016

hopefully those who are not nurses and read this can get how hectic and frustrating hospital nursing can be. I left hospital nursing because I was given too much to do, took care of more acute patients. Lunch break---HAH. rarely happened. Lucky if you got a bathroom break.

nisedc Oct 09, 2015

I read Theresa Brown's first book, and I didn't think she explained too many acronyms, perhaps because, as a nurse for 39 years, I knew what she was talking about, but also because I am literate and read well. She's a lot less off-putting than some of the nurses she describes, who resemble people I have had the misfortune to work with.
Walk in a nurse's shoes for a day or two sometime. It'll open up your eyes. In the meantime, she is a very good writer who has obviously become a very good nurse.


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