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Nurse! Nurse!: A Student Nurse's Story Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
The story grabbed me from the start. I really cared about Jimmy Frazier and his fellow trainees and whether they would cut it as fully-fledged nurses. But above all, it was the descriptions of the patients - everyone from children in a post-surgical ward to prisoners at Holloway prison - that made this a great, often moving read.
Frazier is prepared to criticise the NHS but clearly also has affection for it and, thank goodness, rarely rants or preaches. In fact, one of the author's strengths is being able to poke fun at himself, and his mid-life crisis, without excessive navel gazing.
Though it contains some fascinating medical nuggets, especially regarding mental health, Nurse! Nurse! is at heart a human drama focusing on all too real people - patients, nurses, doctors, friends - that anyone can relate to, whether they work in a hospital or not. If I have one criticism I thought the book ended a bit abruptly. But don't let this put you off. Nurse! Nurse! completely hooked me and I read it in a couple of days. It made me laugh, it made me shed a tear (not easy) and it made me think. Highly recommended.
The easy but uncensored narrative provides emotive insights into the complex personal lives of both patients and nurses. But it avoids jargon and gory medical detail. Jimmy has an interestingly chequered career path and a nagging sense of altruism that has led him to nursing training. This brings him face to face with the realities of nursing and the NHS, all handled with admirable tact and discerning balance. He demonstrates how the mundane can unexpectedly impact upon a student's determination to succeed - having to obtain a computer driver's licence, being required to work in the family shop, but the tone is invariably upbeat. He treats individuals sensitively as he progresses from child nursing through to community visits before specialising in mental health. He talks us through hair-raising flashpoints inside secure hospitals populated with convicted murderers. He takes us into the coping mechanisms of people who work in these institutions as well as his own, much of which involves unusual fitness programmes. But this does not prevent him from questioning the wisdom of the smoking ban in these secure institutions, drawing the link between lack of nicotine and violent behaviour.
This book is one of balanced candid observations. Jimmy sees the good in everyone, from the aloof egotistical consultant to the volatile mental patient. The narrative is light-hearted in line with the whimsical title but the underlying theme is the serious one of the underrated and difficult role performed by nurses, the gel that holds our health system together. Just don't judge this book by its title!
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