Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review: The Nurses by Alexandra Robbins

Title: The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital
Author: Alexandra Robbins
Format: ARC
Publisher: Workman
Publish Date: April 21, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From "In this lively, fast-paced narrative, New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Robbins digs deep into the subculture of nursing, drawing readers into a brilliantly captivating in-depth investigation of the extraordinary working lives of nurses and the shocking behind-the-scenes secrets that all patients and their loved ones need to know.

The Nurses is told through the real-life stories of four women in different hospitals: Molly, funny, well-loved, and confident enough to quit a longtime job after her hospital ramps up its anti-nurse policies. Lara, a superstar nurse who tries to battle her way back from a near-ruinous prescription-drug addiction. The outspoken but compassionate Juliette, a fierce advocate for her patients. And Sam, a first-year nurse, struggling to find her way in a gossipy mean-girl climate she likens to “high school, except for the dying people.”

Readers will root for these bedside heroes, who operate in a world filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and gripping drama. It’s a world of hazing—'nurses eat their young.' Sex—not exactly like on TV, but more prevalent than many imagine. Drug abuse—disproportionately a problem among the best and the brightest. There are true-life archetypes—the handsome, suave doctor, the patient brought back from death, the hunky male nurse. And bullying—by peers, by patients, by hospital bureaucrats, and especially by doctors, an epidemic described as lurking in the 'shadowy, dark corners of our profession.'"

My Two Cents:

Alexandra Robbins always has a tendency to look at some really interesting groups of people. The last book I read by her was "Pledged," which is the story of women trying to get into college sororities. As that was a world that was totally unfamiliar with me, I found it very interesting. So when I got a chance to get my hands on an early copy of her latest release, The Nurses, as a part of my volunteer work for the Gaithersburg book festival, I was very excited. You can check out the interview that I did with Miss Robbins here.

In "The Nurses," Robbins takes a look at the unsung heroes of the hospital. Those are the nurses who are in charge of the day to day and hour to hour and sometimes even minute to minute care of all of the patients that go to the hospital. A lot of times the people who take on this job don't get the credit that they deserve as Robbins shows in this book.

Instead of just talking about nurses in general, Robbins focuses on talking about a couple nurses from a couple big hospitals a single city. To me, this was much more interesting than just a book about general issues that nurses face. By looking at these people you really get a good look at what these people have to go through. Robbins is able to get some great insight from the people that she follows. Being able to have such a first-hand view really gave me an appreciation for everything nurses have to do.

This book is interesting and well-written. Robbins also gives sort of a prescription if you will of what we can do and what hospitals and medical organizations can do in order to make sure that nurses are able to perform their jobs to the best of their ability.


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