Let me start of by saying I am not a nurse, and I don’t plan on being a nurse so this review is solely the opinion of an outsider getting a small peek into the world of nursing!
Anyway! Thank you to Pen and Sword books for sending me this book! I have always been quite interested in nursing, I’ve just never had the confidence or motivation to commit to it as a career choice, so I was super excited to be able to take on a little part of the profession in the form of this book!
Nursing is a complex profession steeped in tradition and history. Tried and tested ways of working have been the mainstay of how and why nurses do what they do. Completing tasks in a certain way because “Sister says so” describes the custom and practice of nursing, passed on through the generations that existed for most of the 20th Century and can still hold sway today.
Science and evidence-based practice have weakened the hold on tradition but ritual is still part of the fabric of nursing. Packed with amusing and sometimes poignant reminiscences this book paints a picture of nursing from the first registration of SRN No 1, Ethel Gordon Fenwick in 1919, to the present day.
Each chapter follows a theme, explores the historical background and brings it to life with stories told by nurses from different eras. We have tales of alcohol prescribed to dilate blood vessels or simply for the feel good factor. Enemas were less fun, given for almost all bowel conditions; ‘High, hot and a helluva lot!’ was the phrase for remembering this ritual.
Written with humour and a light touch, readers don’t need a nursing background to enjoy these stories, but those who trained as nurses will identify with many of the amusing and often eccentric traditions retold by generations of nurses.
I love this book so much! The author has such a way with words that I never felt like I didn’t know what was going on. Every chapter was a wonderful mix of humorous stories, life saving moments and examples of the strict rules of nursing! It is such a realistic insight into nursing, written from obviously a slightly biased view point because the author is a nurse, but she covers both the positives and the negatives to give a very honest, well rounded perspective on what it was like.
It was lovely to read a non-fiction book with a bit of personality too! I loved the chatty writing style, how it almost felt you were sitting down and chatting with the author! It definitely made me feel welcome in reading the book, and that I wasn’t putting my nose in an area it doesn’t belong!
This book is definitely very ‘user friendly’ in that I feel it is accessible to anyone that has an interest in nursing. Whether that’s because they are a nurse, what to be a nurse, have family history in nursing or horsefly even just that they have watched Call the Midwife and want some more factual information on the profession in the era!
I couldn’t recommend this book enough, it is probably my favourite Pen and Sword book yet! Thank you again to Pen and Sword for sending this to me!
I can’t give this any lower the 6/5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to be honest! I just adored it!
See you next time,