I was looking forward to this book as I thought it sounded like an interesting and humorous take on the nursing profession. It certainly wasn’t what I expected! Can I say up front there is nothing wrong with the way the book is written – the writing is good and has an easy to read style. Although it jumped over the place a bit in terms of time and place, the way the chapters are arranged made it easy enough to follow. It was the content I struggled with – the whole time I was reading I was battling between really admiring Kristy and also getting very annoyed with her.
Back to the other side of the fence, I found it quite disrespectful the way Kristy spoke about some of her patients. Being well acquainted with many nurses I really do understand that nursing can be a very messy, smelly, difficult job. I know that cleaning up vomit and poo is not fun. But it is all part of the job and I’m certain that sick people do not take any joy in knowing that the nursing staff have to clean up after them. While I know that many nurses do use the words “piss” and “shit” rather than their milder forms, it was quite confronting to be bombarded with those terms all the time. I just found that to be a little bit immature and again something that was reinforced just a bit too often.
Good on Kristy for first of all studying nursing (a degree is no mean feat) and staying in the profession, despite her apparent apathy for it. Good on her too for taking on the difficult stuff and literally getting her hands dirty. But if she really doesn’t like it, then she should explore a new career direction rather than trying to get the world to feel sorry for her.
Going by other reviews, you’re probably going to either love this book or hate it. Or you might be like me and torn about just how you feel about it. Maybe I shouldn’t have read it so soon after Bush Nurses, which celebrated the difficulties of nursing in a much more positive way.
I am glad I stuck it out to the end, but am still not totally sure how I feel about this one!