on March 10, 2004
Initially purchased title, recommended by a collogue, to augment my clinical research on our medical care crisis, shortage and inadequacy of nursing care, high prescription costs, etc., here in Maine, vis a vis our Northern neighbors. Was hoping to find Ms. Shalof's work informative; but very pleasantly surprised to find it so very engrossing and moving, as well.
Must've feared receiving a dry recitation of facts and figures, with a few bare-bones character sketches sprinkled in. Hardly the case, fortunately. Quite detail-rich and filled with a myriad of fascinating characters, both care givers and patients. Confess I finished it, and it's not slim by any means, in 48 hours (my Inbox is now suffering for it!).
Must note, Tilda's work personalized the sometimes heroic challenges high-pressure, medical care practioners struggle with, particularly ICU; at the same time it opened a fascinating window on patient perspective I suspect could not've seen otherwise. Insight on quality of care issues, as well as the "essence" of the nursing experience, will certainly inform my project recommendations. Personally, intrigued by the Canadian nursing perspective -- which, as it turns out (least for this nurse) is not so unlike the best of ours here in the states.
Finally, must comment: top-notch writing! Don't usually lavish praise, but having just finished (for recreation) Hemingway's "Farewell to Arms," I found the unadonred, yet touching directness of her prose, esp. for a first-time author, to've stood up well; in particular, reminiscent of the emotional impact of Hemingway's Catherine in Childbirth scene. Must confess, found as entertaining as P.D. James' "Shroud for a Nightingale," too. Read this book! Won't disappoint on any level. Felt as almost knew author at end -- surely hope to see more from her -- and somehow witnessed her struggles and epiphanies, too. Not crossing the border anytime soon, but wouldn't mind shaking Tilda's hand (unless she'd just completed some messy, hands-on, life saving medical procedure, of course).
on January 3, 2006
Having worked in acute care for over 10 years, reading the book really brought things to home and related many experiences I have had over the years in nusring and why continue to be be a nurse. Tilda has a way with words that describes everything to a tee. A very accruacte heart felt, emapthetic book well worth the read, that at best i could not put down. Look forward to raeding more from Tilda.
on May 3, 2004
Well written, with humour and compassion. I work on a Medical unit and Step-Down Unit, in a downtown Toronto Hospital (across from the writers') and can strongly relate to her experiences.
Excellent read - she voices very well so much that I have felt and seen in my own experience.
on January 1, 2013
I have never felt so proud to be an ICU nurse as I did after reading this book! Tilda has an amazing way with words and her stories brought me to tears (laughing at her stories that remind me of my own experiences, as well as crying remembering the sad ones). This is one of the most honest, heartfelt books I have ever read. I could not put it down. I hope to read more from Tilda in the near future.