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Life Support: Three Nurses on the Front Lines

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3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  110 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
These graphic, humane, and compelling portraits of three remarkable women offer an eye-opening account of the obstacles that nurses face within the medical community today. Critics everywhere have hailed this book as a classic in the making.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Back Bay Books
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Cathy Koerner
Good historical book about nursing, but now outdated. Actually quite frightening because it it true.
Kristin
I borrowed this book from the library at work because I hadn't read a good nonfiction hospital-based book in a while. This one was good but not one I'd have to read again. Gordon focuses on the role of nurses in hospitals in the early 1990s, equally telling the stories of 3 specific nurses and stressing the effects healthcare reform over time has had on the role of nurses in America's hospitals.
The portions of the book where she was discussing the 3 nurses and their patients were by far the more
...more
Nancy
Feb 05, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, non-fiction
Life Support describes the nursing profession through the author shadowing three nurses with quite different responsibilities in Boston as a framework for discussing changes in the nursing profession. One could hope that things had improved since the 1997 publication date, but I suspect they are worse.

These few lines near the end of the book sum up the problem. "...the goal of managed care companies is not to cut hospital labor costs and redistribute the savings to home care. Their goal is to s
...more
Lynn Silsby
Read most but did not finish it. Ran into the problem that anything timely/topical has - once the book is no longer timely, provided the reader is not coming at it with the perspective of a historian, the reader starts to question what exactly s/he's getting out of it - how relevant, how accurate is this book's take now? I found it well-written and interesting; of course, I was more absorbed in the parts that had something to say about what is universal and still the case about the healthcare ...more
Astin
Jul 02, 2009 Astin rated it really liked it
Gordon writes as an outsider-looking-in to the world of nursing, and her perspective is important. Her distance allows her to appreciate innuendo and context much more than somebody like me who is in the trenches. This book gave me perspective not only to what I do every day, but also the greater context of a complex health care delivery system. It was a reminder that the nursing role is vital, and a charge to continue advancing that role as our healthcare system is again remolded by people who ...more
katie
Jan 20, 2008 katie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in nursing and health
Shelves: nursing
This book follows the work of three nurses in the Boston area. For me it helped reinforce my decision to go to nursing school, and made me excited about my future. The nurses whose stories are shared do amazing, very human work. They are an ideal of what nurses can be.
Maeghan
Feb 25, 2009 Maeghan rated it it was amazing
An excellent read, the book follows 3 nurses working in Boston in the '90s. It touches on some interesting topics, like the doctor/nurse/patient relationship, the healthcare industry, and the publics perception of nursing.
Cathy M.
Good overview of the history if Nursing & Healthcare thru 1996. There in lies the problem as it it so behind that it is somewhat boring. It also was rather redundant. For someone in healthcare during the 80-90's it might be fun remembering what is reviewed.
Danielle
Dec 23, 2015 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: healthcare
Great insight on what it's like to be a nurse and what it takes to be a nurse, and how the attacks on health care (particularly on nurses) has negatively affected patient care overall in the U.S. Looking forward to reading Suzanne Gordon's more recent book Nursing Against the Odds.
Lindsay Murphy
Feb 01, 2014 Lindsay Murphy rated it liked it
I couldn't finish the last 50 pages, they were just not interesting. I loved the descriptions of the nurses and their patients and wish the book had been more centered around that. It was an okay book, but not what I expected.
Kat
Aug 28, 2008 Kat rated it liked it
Book about the state of nursing in this country. Not sure how interesting it would be to anyone non-nurses but I think it's fascinating.
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Suzanne Gordon is an award winning journalist and author who writes about healthcare delivery and health care systems. She is the author of more than 15 books, including Beyond the Checklist and First Do Less Harm, both published in 2012.
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