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The Hospital at the End of the World

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  61 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
There are 2,600 hospitals in Asia, Africa and South America which could be classified as "Mission Hospitals" - far off the beaten path, providing basic medical service to the poorest people of the world. The Hospital at the End of the World tells the story of a nurse from the USA and his first experience as a teaching nurse in Nepal.

Joe Niemczura brings to life the day-t
Paperback, 260 pages
Published May 15th 2009 by Plain View Press
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Nancy Leigh
Jan 01, 2010 Nancy Leigh rated it really liked it
I just finished Joe Niemczura's book, "The Hospital at the End of the World," and want to recommend it. It is a particularly wonderful read for nurses and nursing students and others in the field of healthcare. If you haven't considered international nursing before, this book will inspire you to consider it! Niemczura's book is the story of transition and of his spiritual and professional journey. I found it to be a heartfelt, honest depiction of what nursing in Nepal -- 'out of the bubble' -- i ...more
I won this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Having lived in a "developing nation" for half of my life, reading Joe Niemczura's account of his trip to Nepal reminded me of many of the initial thoughts I had on my first visit among such poverty. Along with peeks at the culture of Nepal (I would have liked more!) and the ups and downs of working as a nurse in a mission hospital, Joe shares his personal reactions not only to the Nepalese and the working conditions, but also to the internat
May 16, 2009 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: nurses and nursing students
Shelves: nepal, nursing
Okay so I am the author. Bias exists.

This is narrative nonfiction written in the style of a novel. It is a true story but the names of the major persons have been changed. In summer 2007 I taught nursing at a nursing school run by Christian Missionaries in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal.

There is no plot per se, other than a description of the adjustments involved in a new culture and dealing with health care in the Third World.

There is no evil deformed villain.

there no car chase; and n
Oct 18, 2009 Karen rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I finished this book, which I won through GoodReads, a few days ago and have been contemplating how to write this review. This is a 3-star book written by a 5-star person. You can't help but love Joe Niemczura by the time you finish the book.

This book chronicles the three months Joe spent training nurses in rural Nepal. For me, it was so nostalgic to hear his descriptions of the food, the culture, the dress, the living conditions of rural Nepal. Also, his initial bouts of culture shock upon ent
May 29, 2014 Liralen rated it liked it
In a tale that reminds me somewhat of Dieter Lemke's Man No Be God, Niemczura (an American nurse) describes a summer spent volunteering in a hospital in Nepal. The similarities are fairly superficial—while both men worked in developing countries, Lemke spent much of his career in Cameroon as a missionary doctor, while Niemczura's tenure in Nepal was much shorter (and, though the hospital was mission-affiliated, he himself was not a missionary).

It was clearly an overwhelmingly positive and stimul
Karl W.
Oct 18, 2009 Karl W. rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-reads
This book is a thoroughly enjoyable read that impresses by it genuineness. The author is a nurse, not a professional writer; because he is writing about his experiences in adapting his nursing skills to an unusual environment, and adapting himself to a strange environment, the end result is a work of refreshing honesty and engagingly direct appeal. The basic simplicity of Joe Niemczura’s prose, and some of the awkwardness you feel in his attempt to give a literary structure to his experiences se ...more
Tipsy Pixy
Oct 20, 2009 Tipsy Pixy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nursing
I have to say that I kind of expected this book to be similar to other books written by nurses. Written as though they were charting. But this was quite the contrary which was fantastic. The way the author writes paints a picture for you and gives you the feel of what is going on. He also has pictures taken while he was there. These do not take over the book and are placed so that it complements the writing. The reader does not suddenly see a picture and get distracted. Rather the pictures help ...more
Dec 23, 2009 Michelle rated it liked it
I won this book on Goodreads!

Joe Niemczura, an American nursing instructor, chronicles his time teaching at a remote hospital in Nepal. We follow the author as he leaves everyday comforts in Hawaii to land in desolate Tansen, Nepal. Joe's new home is void of any conveniences let alone modern medical equipment and we see his struggle to care for his patients using third world facilities. As time progresses, it is apparent that Joe is quite fond of the people he meets: the Nepali patients and thei
Lorettajo Kapinos
Apr 06, 2010 Lorettajo Kapinos rated it really liked it
For a complete review, see my blog (, but here's an excerpt:

I found The Hospital at the End of The World to be a satisfying read. It was conversational enough for non-medical readers and yet interesting to me as a nurse. The one factor that separates it from other nursing memoirs is Joe's truth in emotion. He shares secrets of coping with the ups and downs, many that I didn't even know I used. He's open, honest and real about the struggles nurses face eve
Jun 19, 2010 Tara rated it it was ok
I did not win this book through the Goodreads giveaway, as many of the other reviewers did. However, it sounded so interesting that I wanted to read it anyway, so I ordered it from Amazon. I have read other books that take place in this part of the world and wanted to "return" there, as I find the people and culture fascinating.

While this wasn't a bad book—I did finish it—I was disappointed. I expected it to be more about the hospital and its patients, and less about the author. I came away from
Harry Lane
Nov 02, 2014 Harry Lane rated it really liked it
This is a first person account of a three month stint in a mission hospital in a remote part of Nepal. Niemczura very effectively portrays the sights and sounds of a foreign culture and the challenges of medical practice without all the bells and whistles of an American hospital. He takes the reader with him through the joys and sorrows of the experience and conveys a feel for the utter difference of the society in which he worked. At one point, he says that one of his objectives was to get out ...more
Oct 27, 2009 Sam rated it it was amazing
This book takes you on a journey into the heart and soul of healing care. Joe Niemczura, RN, MS shares medical stories from the Himalayas. Joe is one of many Christian Missionaries whose care for the body led him to a place where souls meet and spiritual healing comes alive. These stories move your heart into a desire to serve others in need of care.

In these stories, you will find a message regarding how service to others develops one's character and one's soul. The inspirational stories will l
Jul 23, 2016 Annie rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed contrasting and comparing the health care practices of the mission hospital with my own experiences in the more developed world, particularly his work with the burn patients. The bit with the banana leaves was so interesting!

I admired the author's dedication to writing the truth of his experiences, even if that meant relaying how he got laid on break (get it, Joe) or ruminating on Backstreet Boys songs haha. Maybe I could done without some of it, but overall it gave me a better,
Liz B
Nov 15, 2009 Liz B rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Part travel memoir, part medical memoir, this is the story of Niemczura's stint as a nurse in Nepal. It was interesting to read, and I recommend it to those who enjoy that kind of nonfiction.

I got this for free as part of Goodreads' Firstreads. If I hadn't, I might not have finished it; it didn't compel me the way some memoirs do. However, it is full of Niemczura' thoughtful and positive take on life, and he was a good person to spend some time with.
Purposely Vague
I reeaaaallly wanted to like this book more. I think it would have been good to follow maybe as a blog. I think it would be really interesting had I been Joe's close friend to follow his adventure. As a book though, it didn't hold my interest. :o(
Jul 24, 2012 Feck rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 31, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
A "4" for content--honest, culturally appreciative account of serving a medical mission in Nepal.
A "2" for typos--needed a better editor.
Amanda rated it really liked it
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Roy Huff
Roy Huff rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2014
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Feb 10, 2015
Megan Clancy
Megan Clancy rated it it was ok
Jan 06, 2017
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Babs Burr rated it it was amazing
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Feb 20, 2015
Aarchee rated it it was amazing
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Feb 25, 2015
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The Sacrament of the Goddess

The premise of TSOTG is simple. I wrote the book I wanted to read.

I am passionate about health care. I get positive reinforcement when the people I care for tell me how I helped them. It is the best possible feeling.

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