Professional Reviews

I am indebted to Helen Gallagher for the following reviews of Caring Lessons. Thank you, Helen, for taking the time to read the book and to write and publish the reviews! Readers, check these out! You will see why I’m grateful for Helen’s selfless work on the behalf of writers.

On Amazon:

Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self.

Plus on open.salon.com (and also on blogcritics.com)

Book Review: Caring Lessons, a memoir of nursing & triumph – Helen Gallagher – Open Salon.

And here is another unsolicited, appreciated, informative review of Caring Lessons to share:

The Book Shelf: Book of the Week 12/13/10.


Mailing Station

And, with many thanks to Heidi McLaughlin, international speaker and author of Sand to Pearls: Making Bold Choices in Your Life and Beauty Unleashed: Transforming a Woman’s Soul, I present her 7/11 review of Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self on Amazon titled Crafted with Care:

This book intrigued me. I am not a nurse, but the quote in the back of the book inspired me to pick it up. It said, “…a great comfort to women trying to balance career, motherhood, and commitment to the greater good of mankind.” I know that’s what I want, and so I immersed myself into a nurse’s life for the next few days.

Lois is a brilliant, crafted writer. Her words create a visual masterpiece where I can feel the tension, see the belly laughing, visualize the wardrobes, smell the hospital operating rooms and embrace friendship.  With the guts of a parachuter, and the wisdom of a saint, Lois guides young women through the maze of a nurse’s life. It’s not all glamorous. Body washing an older man, emptying bed pans, pinworms, enemas and seeing rotten potatoes on pant legs, wasn’t what she signed up for.

I love her honesty about the challenges of juggling motherhood, Lego toys and diapers, and her struggle to find more meaning outside of her home. Lois journeys us through the days of starched uniforms and her nurse’s hat, to tennis shoes and “stretch and sew” turtle necks. Along the way she teaches us about friendship, laughter and following your heart. This is a great book, you won’t be able to put it down until it’s finished. Buy one for yourself and a gift for all your girlfriends.

And thanks to Mary A. Osborne, nurse and author of Nonna’s Book of Fiction,  for an Amazon review (5/12) titled A Purpose Driven Life:

It is an act of bravery to reveal one’s life story in detail, to express one’s struggles and fears publicly. Done skillfully, memoirs tell the truth while transforming an ordinary life into an inspiring narrative. Lois Roelofs Ph.D. worked an R.N. in various capacities–from staff nurse, to nurse researcher, to nursing professor–before she decided to share her journey in Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self. The book is a thoughtful and authentic chronicle of the author’s life from her nursing student days through her early retirement.

As an RN myself, I could easily relate to Roelofs’ story, written with candor and humor, and her ongoing quest to find the nursing position which best suited her unique talents. She writes with honesty about an episode of depression which she suffered during the early years of her marriage in the 1970’s. Feeling overwhelmed with the demands of caring for her two small children and dissatisfied with having set aside her own ambitions, she reached a breaking point.

In Caring Lessons, Roelofs expresses what other married women might feel but are perhaps not willing to speak aloud. Though forty years have passed since the author took a personal time-out, it is still risky for a woman who has a caring husband, beautiful children, and a nice house to admit she’s feeling hemmed in. Women who are lucky enough to have all the material blessings in life are supposed to be content and grateful. Roloefs’ story reminds women that it is all right to feel discontent and encourages them to continue the journey in search of personal fulfillment despite the inevitable obstacles that are encountered.

After reading about her episode of depression, it was not surprising to me when Roelofs later described her decision to specialize in psychiatric nursing. The best healers are often those who have journeyed through their own pain and learned to find true compassion for others. I would describe Lois Roelofs’ nursing career not as a profession, but as a vocation. With tireless dedication driven both by intellectual curiosity and the desire to follow the ideals of her Christian faith, the author has lived a truly purpose-driven life. There are many who admire nurses and the work they do. Caring Lessons is a wonderful reminder of why many of those who enter the profession become earthly angels.

Caring Lessons is an inspiring read for nurses and those who aspire to the field, as well as those who are curious about the behind the scenes lives of nurses and nursing educators.

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