Never underestimate the true value of a good read. Books can inform and inspire in equal measure. They can provide ideas for future healthcare goals, affirm your passion for the industry, empower you with the knowledge to succeed in the future and more. Beyond all this, a good book can be immensely entertaining and relatable, especially ones related to the healthcare industry. There is a wealth of good reading material available to HCPs. While we cannot list them all, this article highlights a couple books you do not want to miss out on.
Notes on Nursing: What it Is, and What it Is Not by Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale is regarded as the mother of modern nursing. Best practices that seem like common sense, such as sterilizing medical equipment before use and maintaining good hygiene, all started with her concepts. Notes on Nursing is not a gospel that is perfectly applicable to the modern word, as nursing has changed a great deal over hundreds of years. It is, however, a look into the mindset and thought process of one of nursing’s most important historical figures. Several of its concepts still hold true today, and form the foundation of nursing as we know it.
Your First Year as a Nurse by Donna Cardillo
Nursing is a demanding profession. Even if you were an excellent student there are certain parts of the job that will catch you off guard if you are not prepared. While there is no replacing the value of real experience, “Your First Year as a Nurse” is an excellent primer on what you can expect from your first year on the job. From practical technical advice, to more soft skills such as communication and teamwork, this guide will help ease the transition from nursing student to first time rookie HCP.
The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives by Theresa Brown
Nursing is a stressful line of work. The stakes and expectations placed upon you are quite unlike any other profession on Earth. If reading something that conveys these feelings is something you want to avoid in your spare time, “The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives” may not be for you. Those who give it time will find a captivating and immensely relatable read, that covers the true story of a nurse attempting to problem-solve and thrive within a high pressure environment. Relatable, detailed, and sometimes stressful, “The Shift” bottles experiences and feelings that only fellow HCPs can truly relate to.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The story of Henrietta Lacks and her family is equal parts remarkable and tragic. Born and raised as a slave, Henrietta Lacks’ cancer cells were taken from her, as they were uniquely “immortal.” The research surrounding these cells served as the bedrock for important medical advances, yet her family saw no reparations or compensation for this. In addition, there is some ambiguity as to how these cells were collected in the first place. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” tackles issues of race and exploitation that are inextricably part of the history of medicine. To progress forward in a productive manner, HCPs must confront this past and learn from the mistakes of their predecessors.
The Comfort Garden: Tales from the Trauma Unit by Laurie Barkin
It is no secret that the healthcare industry is intense and demanding. This is doubly so for units like trauma care, which are expected to deal with urgent and life-threatening situations with expediency and efficiency. While these services are necessary, all the long stressful situations can add up. “The Comfort Garden” is Laurie Barkin’s account of her 5 years of experience as a trauma nurse. She discusses the toll her job takes on her, when unspeakable tragedies are a normal part of an everyday shift. From there, she discusses the trauma and compassion fatigue that sprung from this, and how she coped with these conditions. Revealing but honest, “The Comfort Garden” is the perfect read for people who have felt the pressure and demands of healthcare work weigh on them.