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

In a book as eye-opening as it is riveting, practicing nurse and New York Times columnist 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 hospitals cancer ward. In the span of twelve hours, lives can be lost, life-altering medical treatment decisions made, and dreams fulfilled or irrevocably stol...

Title : The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives
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ISBN : 161620320X
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Number of Pages : 272 pages
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The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives Reviews

  • Nancy

    Theresa Brown describes a typical 12 hour day as a hospital nurse--often harried and overwhelmed but still finding her profession rewarding. Keeping on top of the needs of 4 people sick enough to be hospitalized is a real challenge. My experience with hospitals and nursing is modest, but the book has a real ring of truth about the hour-by-hour duties. It would be a good book for young people to read as they decide what profession would be best for them.

  • إدريس

    Theresa took me in a journey from early morning 7 AM to 7 PM; the end of her 12 hours shift.

    I'm so attached to her and the cancer ward. I have all the respect in the word for the kindhearted really devoted nurses, doctors, and all those involved in healthcare. True; there are some bad apples, but well, every profession has those *sigh*

    I love healthcare and everything that has to do with it. And to be able to live a day through the eyes of a nurse that cares so much about her patients; is quite

  • Lisa Mills

    As a nurse I had high expectations for this book. I did not find it very interesting. It went into minute detail where I did not need any explanation whatsoever. This book is only a very small window into part of what a nurse’s day could be like. Nurses go without eating when they should eat. They go without going to the bathroom when ordinarily they would go. There are demands from supervisors to discharge patients ASAP so a new patient can be admitted ASAP. Massive amounts of medications have ...more

  • Jacob Seifert

    I gave up 75 pages in. The story was too meandering for me. I understand this is more or less the nature of nursing, but the narration just didn't hold my interest. It was also a difficult read for all of the characters and medical information that was being thrown at me so quickly. The tone was also a bit too peppy and optimistic for my tastes. I'm sure she's a great nurse, but she's not my kind of storyteller.

  • Sandra

    Check out this and many other reviews on my blog

    The Shift is a well written and very readable account of a 12 hour nursing shift in the oncology ward at a busy US teaching hospital. To be more specific, The Shift follows the author, Theresa Brown, a practicing nurse, during one of her typical shifts, trying to balance caring for her cancer patients with compassion and grace with the necessity for meticulous administrative and record keeping duties.


  • Claire

    a fun, quick, fascinating read--I love hearing details about life in a hospital. And this is FULL of details

  • Cheryl

    Theresa Brown has a PhD in English, and had been teaching college English at Tufts University. After her children were born, she decided to change careers so she enrolled in university where she received a degree in nursing! In The Shift, Theresa gives the reader a glimpse of her work with patients and staff in the oncology ward at a busy Pittsburgh hospital.

    During her twelve hour shift, she is assigned to provide and maintain care for four patients. This may not sound like a heavy schedule, but

  • Rachel

    Somebody, or the Internet, whichever, told me about this book. is not very good. It is hard to imagine how a book about a hospital, where there are millions of life or death decisions made every day, could be boring. It is also hard to imagine that a book written by a NYT columnist could be poorly written. Unfortunately both of these things are true. It is boring, and not particularly well written.

    I did gain somewhat of a new sympathy for how busy nurses are and an understanding of why