- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Ed 1st Printing edition (April 14, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761171711
- ISBN-13: 978-0761171713
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (288 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital Hardcover – April 14, 2015
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"...a detailed, sympathetic, and eye-opening portrait of how nurses work, deal with stresses, and fulfill their mission of serving patients...An insightful perspective on the realities of crucial health care providers." —Kirkus Reviews
"After interviewing hundreds, Robbins narrowed her focus to the personal narratives of four nurses.... Their stories are compelling in every way." —Bookpage
"...dishes eye-opening material." —Publishers Weekly
"Anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital—or might in the future—would do well to read this book. With page-turning prose, Robbins pulls back the curtain on a world rife with joy and challenge. It's brutally honest, emotional, and most of all, a paean to nurses—the people who help us live, die, and survive every day." — Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out
"Nurses are the unseen warriors of the hospital system, part of a 'secret club' of heroes with its own rules and codes. They're also strong-willed, flawed human beings made of flesh and (unafraid of) blood, rendered here in stunning detail. This fascinating and compulsively readable book even has a few tricks that could save your life. First tip: Don't get sick in July." — Mickey Rapkin, author of Pitch Perfect
"A fascinating and somewhat alarming examination of the contemporary nursing profession...Robbins not only shows, she tells in this revealing expose of the modern day state of nursing. It is an eye-opener not to be missed.” —EarlyWord
"Readers... will find themselves guided by an excellent stylist and a first-rate mind." —Houston Chronicle
“Alexandra Robbins writes reality TV in book form.” —New Jersey Star-Ledger
"A rich, fast-paced book about heroic, neglected professionals; editor's recommendation." —Barnes and Noble
“The Nurses' is exciting and honest, from admission to release. Robbins…busts myths, shows the inner workings of emergency rooms, offers golden advice, and explains behind-the-scenes events and why nurses deserve way more kudos than they get.” —The Daily News
"...dramatic and riveting...Robbins has done an excellent job of bringing the world of nurses to life." —The Examiner
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Top customer reviews
-This book revolves around four nurses, all working in different ED's, and their stories. While this is a very important part of nursing, it's not the only thing - there are so many fields of nursing - case management, wards nurses, surgical nurses, school nurses, ICU nurses, hospice, psychiatric nurses, etc - and this book doesn't really acknowledge those fields. While it would take a much longer book to talk about all these different aspects of nursing, I do wish that it had been more explicit that this was a book about a very specific, sub specialized part of nursing and not necessarily a full picture of what nursing has to offer.
- In the book, one of the nurses has a substance abuse problem, and uses opioids she takes from work. While it is not a common problem, it's certainly not unheard of, and I thought it was good that the book didn't sugarcoat this aspect of the hazards of the medical field.
- Nurses 'eating their young': As a young female resident, issues of gender and age came up a lot in this book, and hit a sore spot for me. It's common to see the older nurses chiding or gossiping about the newbies, often in a detrimental way, and in some cases within earshot of patients. Its a stressful life working in the medical field, and there's virtually no room for error (though yes, errors do happen), but there's a tactful way to do things. Once I was called to assess a hypoxic patient who had an o2 sat of "44%" by a new grad. I went to the bedside and assessed the patient and found the patient to have signs of heart failure, but was alert and her overall appearance was not consistent with someone with an oxygen level of 44% (normal is 90-100). I gently asked for the nurse to adjust the pulse ox, as I didn't think it was accurate (it was not placed correctly on the finger), and once I said that, the supervising older nurse started repeatedly criticizing her stating "There's no way she's 44%, you need to reassess and think before you believe what the monitor says", etc. - in front of the patient. While it is a good teaching point to recheck something that doesn't make sense, this is something that was already being addressed and could have been reinforced outside of the acute situation by pulling the new grad aside and debriefing her later on, in private.
- Doctor-nurse interactions: Though expected as the book was about nurses, the doctors in the book seemed to be portrayed as either arrogant, laissez-faire, incompetent, womanizing, or outright combative. Of course the more colorful MD personalities are going to make for more fascinating reading, but it didn't seem quite accurate. There are definitely physicians that cross the line in their interactions, but I don't think this is the majority of physicians. There are also times when nurses will catch an error that a physician would have missed, either due to rechecking a dosage, or having more information about the patient, or recognizing a condition that was undetected, but ultimately, it's the physician who is responsible for evaluating and diagnosing a patient and coming up with the plan, and making sure that the plan gets carried out. I am not sure what hospital in the book allows for the nurses to put in orders and come up with treatment plans overnight without physician/NP/PA approval (as was stated by one respondent), but that is beyond the scope of their license.
- The part about nurses being understaffed is most certainly true. The clashes with administration and expecting nurses to take on more and more work is an unfortunate side effect of the consolidation of the healthcare system into large corporations. Their calls for safe staffing are to the benefit of patients.
Overall, this was an interesting book, it will not surprise those who work in healthcare, but it'll enlighten those who don't. If you've ever worked in a healthcare capacity you'll likely find at least something you can relate to in this book (and a lot which you happily won't).