The Nurses: Workman Publishing

Preorder this book. I got a review copy and tore through it. The author, like those of From Silence to Voice, is a journalist, not a nurse. Does anyone else find that interesting? Like, perhaps practicing nurses are afraid to speak out about the realities of our profession? Just a theory. Update 4/14/15: it's out early! Get yours here: The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital.

This book is a far less comprehensive undertaking than From Silence to Voice and has a different flavor. Both should be on every nurse's reading list. I actually probably will be a pusher of both to nonnurses, because the public really REALLY needs to understand how the nursing field affects their healthcare, because it's direct and far-reaching.

The Nurses follows four nurses as they navigate their career rapids. All four are ER nurses, so perhaps I identified a little more with the issues they encountered, but I think all nurses will react as I did: "I know how THAT feels. That happened to me. I've seen that happen to other people." It was actually a page-turner: gritty realism meets "As the Hospital Turns."

I was a bit surprised by the author's emphasis on substance abuse in nursing. I'm as big a Nurse Jackie fan as anyone else, but I grew weary of reading on and on about nurses shooting up. Furthermore, the main nurse with drug issues follows a path not known to nursekind: she actually found help and got back to her career. In my experience, the issue is less that nurses are addicted and more that they have to pick between their addiction and their career. Nurses with "pill problems" just don't get hired again. Usually. I saw one nurse keep working no matter what he did: DUIs, narcotic diversion, coming to work drunk, NOT coming to work because he was drunk---I assume there was something janky going on there.

Anyway, it is an issue and nurses need to be more aware of what to look for. I just thought it deserved maybe a bit less emphasis.

Still and all, I definitely recommend this book. It comes out in May and will be $24.95. (Click post title for publisher site.)