Nursing memoirs. I dream of two full rows in the bookstores of memoirs written by nurses. I see many more written by doctors. Why not nurses? Why not us? Yes, there are a few anthologies, but this is not like the life story of a nurse. And most of the nursing memoirs out there are about what I call “blood and guts” nursing—intensive care, emergency room, war.
But memoirs don’t have to be high drama to give folks a feel for what it is we nurses do and why we chose this profession. Just our day to day can be interesting. Enough to inspire those thinking about nursing to fall over the edge in love with our work. It’s our privilege at this time of a dire nursing shortage to be “advertisers” for the profession.
Get out your pen and start today. I used to tell my nursing students to keep a journal—just one word lists of your day. Enough to prompt your memory when you take the time to write it all out. Notice, I did not say, “find” the time. Yes, “take” the time. Don’t let the docs show us up!
Can you tell that I’ve just read the paper’s weekly literary page and am incensed? I want to see nurses there…
Donna Ebersold said:
Yes indeed I believe there is a memoir of a day in nursing that would rival Ian MacEwan’s Saturday- he’s my favorite author — bit of depressive realist like myself but with a mind that never stops. And I believe that few realize the depth of compassion we feel for our patients, the continual dissonance and moral anguish in attempting to provide competent or more care..I was blessed to have nurse leaders such as Pat Benner and Kit Chesla nearby when I was a mid career nurse I still draw on their wisdom..Now, I journal everyday, have adopted a contemplative lifestyle,daily mass, readings and oh yes work!! Mostly unemployed for 2 years after 33 yrs in nursing but who is entitled to a perfect career– nursing was good to me for a long time. NOw I will begin again… one on one nursing in the home with fragile children and maybe some grant writing if I am lucky. BTW there is no nursing shortage in SW Ohio. Corporate health has just negated most of RN’s past a certain age or education and found a way to still call it patient centered care.
Lois Roelofs said:
Donna, Thanks much for writing. You sound a bit like me, a seasoned old timer. Our hearts are in nursing, and we hate to see changes detrimental to our patients. Think about writing a book from the thoughts you’re expressing in your daily journals. The general public does not know enough about us–how we think, what we do. Lucky you to know Pat Benner personally. When we started writing our books, my friend, Marianna Crane (nursingstories.org), and I worked with Benner’s “novice to expert” model to plan the sequencing of our stories. I wish you much fulfillment working in home care with children. That’s one thing nurses can do is to begin again! Lois
facetioussoup aka MLWA said:
Reblogged this on momentarylapseofsanity.
Lois Roelofs said:
Thank you for the reblog. I appreciate help in getting out the word that we as nurses need to let people know much more about us!
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