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When Chicken Soup Isn't Enough: Stories of Nurses Standing Up For Themselves, Their Patients, and Their Patients [Hardcover]

Suzanne Gordon

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Book Description

May 26 2010 Culture and Politics of Health Care Work

The reassuring bromides of "chicken soup for the soul" provide little solace for nurses - and the people they serve - in real-life hospitals, nursing homes, schools of nursing, and other settings. In the minefield of modern health care, there are myriad obstacles to quality patient care - including work overload, inadequate funds for nursing education and research, and poor communication between and within the professions, to name only a few. The seventy RNs whose stories are collected here by the award-winning journalist Suzanne Gordon know that effective advocacy isn't easy. It takes nurses willing to stand up for themselves, their coworkers, their patients, and the public.

When Chicken Soup Isn't Enoughbrings together compelling personal narratives from a wide range of nurses from across the globe. The assembled profiles in professional courage provide new insight into the daily challenges that RNs face in North America and abroad - and how they overcome them with skill, ingenuity, persistence, and individual and collective advocacy at work and in the community. In this collection, we meet RNs working at the bedside, providing home care, managing hospital departments, teaching and doing research, lobbying for quality patient care, and campaigning for health care reform. Their stories are funny, sad, deeply moving, inspiring, and always revealing of the different ways that nurses make their voices heard in the service of their profession. The risks and rewards, joys and sorrows, of nursing have rarely been captured in such vivid first-person accounts. Gordon and the authors of the essays contained in this book have much to say about the strengths and shortcomings of health care today - and the role that nurses play as irreplaceable agents of change.


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From the Back Cover

"When Chicken Soup Isn't Enough is an excellent collection capturing the real work done by nurses. It demonstrates that the triumphs and struggles of nurses are universal."—Kathleen Burke, RN-BC, BSN, UCSF Medical Center

"These concise first-person narratives by nurses from around the world provide a magnificent testimony to the power of the nursing profession to effect change. Their common theme is to stand up, speak out, and take action against inadequate care, unsafe working conditions, physician arrogance, and outmoded, condescending conceptions of the nurse's role in contemporary health care. These are the voices of nurses who do not know their places—to the benefit of patients, and of us all."—Charles L. Bardes, MD, Weill Cornell Medical College

About the Author

Suzanne Gordon is Visiting Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing. She is author of Life Support and Nursing against the Odds, coauthor of Safety in Numbers and From Silence to Voice, and coeditor of The Complexities of Care, all from Cornell.

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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes Caring Needs to be Politicized to be Effective Oct. 10 2010
By Brandy Jesernik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is incredible! I had initially tried to read Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul but couldn't finish because it was soooooo sappy full of stories of nurses falling in love with sick orphan babies rather than discussing their skills or professional obstacles. THIS book is exactly what I was looking for. It's a collection of short stories in which nurses of diverse nationalities, degrees, specialties, and experiences write about times they- just like the subtitle states- stood "up for themselves, their patients, and their profession." The personal is political! Unlike the Chicken Soup book, this book shows caring at its best- loving their patients and professions so much that they fight for them! These are nurses who perceived problems and then either alone or collectively sought to solve them in any way possible, sometimes by standing up to coworkers, doctors, managers, and/or administration, sometimes by performing research studies, sometimes by demanding state and/or federal legal changes, and sometimes by challenging the anachronistic stereotypes of nursing that persist. Not only did I learn a ton from this book, but it made me extremely excited to become a part of such an incredibly strong profession.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank you! Aug. 9 2012
By Wildflower - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a brilliant and inspirational collection of essays and short stories written by nurses themselves. It tells of nurses overcoming insurmountable odds, believing in what's right, and courageously standing up for themselves.

If I had one complaint about this book, it would be my perception that the book was heavy on stories from nurses in a supervisory or managerial position and less from actual nurses in the 'trenches': the nurses who routinely work on unit floors under very difficult emotional and physical conditions.

A great book that ideally should be part of every nurses' bookshelf or reading list.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than Chicken Soup May 21 2011
By Christopher E. Stimson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very good book. It gets away from all the fluff of nursing and the chicken soup series. Enjoyed reading this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories!! June 5 2013
By nursegirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Had to buy this book for my management class. Very easy read and interesting stories. Would recommend to any nurse.
5.0 out of 5 stars the true reality of our career May 13 2014
By Kathy Dibble - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Suzanne Gordon compiled a wide spectrum of the Nursing profession and the trials and emotions that go along with this rewarding and challenging career.

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