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on November 5, 2013
I was disappointed in this book. I am already quite far into it and there is very little discussion about her experience as a patient. Every now and then a line or two about her medical condition and discussions with her cardiologist, but then she reverts back to stories about her professional life. Two things stuck out for me. I often wondered why she stayed at the bedside rather than going the management route. She answered the question for me, stating that her colleagues said she stayed at the bedside to get more stories to write more books. I believe this to be true. I also didn't like her utter disdain and arrogance towards non-ICU nurses. I put the book down when she went off on a tirade about how ICU nurses are so much better, smarter, etc. than any other nurses, how they don't just empty the urine of their patients once a shift. They actually monitor it carefully regarding quality and quantity. Well, I've got news for you, Tilda, so do non-ICU nurses. They are not just dumb automatons as you suggest they are. I find this book to be just so much more self-agrandizement and arrogance on the author's part.
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on November 16, 2012
I had to purchase this book for school and it was probably one of the most pleasant "textbooks" I've ever had. Shalof has an easy-to-follow writing style and is good at explaining medical lingo concisely (no one needs a three pages definition of "full code"). As a nursing student, I found this book very interesting because I feel the same way about being a patient as Shalof does. This book provides readers with a realistic idea of what happens in a hospital; definitely very little (if any) sugar-coating of the system.
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on August 13, 2011
Tilda Shalof is a great storyteller and has excellent pacing.

As a non-nurse working with nurses, I really appreciate the perspective her books provide. They are a bit of a cheat sheet if you will! It's meaningful to me to see things from the other side of the gurney and to
appreciate all that it takes to keep patients safe.

Nursing aside, it's also just a great story of women and friends supporting each other, in a way that is believable and heartwarming without being sentimental. I liked eavesdropping on these stories.

It's also a frank and courageous take on depression, and growing up with a mentally ill parent. These aren't easy to discuss openly, despite being so common. I am glad Shalof has tackled this and find her reflections honest and comforting, she has a great deal of insight and her story resonated with me.
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