"The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives"

Dec 2, 2015

On this presentation of ST on Health, an interesting chat with Theresa Brown, a clinical nurse who also writes regularly about nursing for The New York Times, CNN.com, and other national media. Brown's new memoir is "The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives," and Publishers Weekly (in a starred review) called it a "meticulous, absorbing shift-in-the-life account of one nurse's day on a cancer ward [which] 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." And further, per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Brown does an excellent job of taking us moment by moment through her day -- meeting the patients (one difficult, one frail, one possibly dying, one about to go home); the paperwork (endless); the fail-safe procedures (also endless, but clearly important); the workarounds (not always kosher, but sometimes the only way to get things done). Brown [is] skillful at keeping the narrative flowing. The reader feels her affection and deep sense of responsibility for her patients, even the aggravating ones, and her frustration over not being able to give them each the attention she believes they need."