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Bed Number Ten

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  290 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
A patient's personal view of long term care.
Seen through the eyes of a patient totally paralyzed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, this moving book takes you through the psychological and physical pain of an eleven month hospital stay. BED NUMBER TEN reads like a compelling novel, but is entirely factual.
You will meet:
The ICU staff who learned to communicate with the paraly
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 31st 1989 by CRC Press (first published February 1986)
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Dorothy Jarosz
Mar 20, 2013 Dorothy Jarosz rated it really liked it
as a nurse it hurt me to see how this poor women was treated by hospital staff. should be required reading for nursing students
Aug 28, 2013 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: guillian-barre
Having had Guillian-Barre Syndrome, this book was absolutely amazing. Although my recovery was much faster than Susan's, I was able to relate to a lot of the fears, hurdles and victories described in this book! It also made me feel extremely lucky to (a) have had the fabulous care I had from compassionate nurses and doctors, (b) have received awesome drugs and was knocked out for most of the time I was on the ventilator, and (c) have gotten this hideous disease in 2009 and not 1980! If not for t ...more
This is one of those books you hear about as a nurse. It does not paint a pretty picture of health care. It's very tempting to refer to patients by diagnoses or conditions, but if you are in health care, and there to be of service, it is important for you and for your patient to keep humanity at the forefront. My heart did go out to the author. But not all health care providers are insensitive boobs; some of us do care and struggle to keep the human touch and recognition alive. I came away more ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Mini rated it it was amazing
This book should be recommended reading for anyone going into healthcare. So well written that the reader feels the pain and agony of each wrinkle in the bedsheets. Every one has the right to be treated with and it is especially more important when that person cannot speak for himself/herself.
Liz Whittaker
May 16, 2011 Liz Whittaker rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for any person even thinking about going into the healthcare profession. The story line is that of a woman who contracts Guillian Barre' Syndrome. If you are unfamiliar with this dreaded virus I will give you a few details. It strikes randomly, it leaves its victim paralysed but with the ability to feel pain, and it takes from one to two years to get over the symptoms. "Bed Number Ten" tells of the journey of one woman who battles the virus and the staff meant to ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I could not imagine going through what Mrs. Baier went through and I wonder how she is doing now, 32 years later. I think that this book will make me a better nurse as I begin my new career. I am hopeful that the profession as a whole has improved since that time and that our caring will continue to improve for our patients and their families.
Dec 16, 2010 Sharon rated it liked it
Shelves: nursing
A good and insightful book about what it's like to be a patient in the ICU. As a nursing student, it was a helpful tool for me to become more sensitive to the reality of being in such an environment.

A good read, but I felt that it dragged on for too long and that some things felt very redundant.
Oct 04, 2007 Emily rated it it was ok
Interesting story, but this woman sure did complain a lot as well. If all you can think about when you come home from being in the hospital for months and making a remarkable recovery from a devastating desease is how your African violets are growing crooked, you need to re-evaluate your values!
May 17, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
I read this book many years ago and it was one of the best books I have ever read. It showed me what to look for if someone I love is ever in a coma. The woman talked about how awful some of the nurses would treat her, bad things that they would say and how ungentle they would treat her believing she could not feel anything. She felt pain, heard things going on around her. It was awful what she went through by some of the aides and nurses, but some were very caring and gentle to her. It is a gre ...more
Paula Welter
Mar 26, 2015 Paula Welter rated it liked it
This is a bibliography by a woman who became incapacitated with Gillian barre' syndrome. Her main point of the story besides to describe the horrific experience of being unable to move or talk for nearly a year, was to describe how some healthcare professionals treated her as an object rather than a person. It was a quick read and as a nurse I found it interesting.
May 30, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing
A really good book to understand the patient's perspective of being hospitalized. Really helps a nurse understand what a patient wants and how we need to put them first and work together with the patient. I could not put this book down. It really makes you think about putting yourself in the patients shoes.
Feb 11, 2013 Lorinda rated it it was amazing
This is the true story of Sue Baier, housewife and mother of two who wakes up on an ordinary December morning in 1980 with tingling in her toes. Within 48 hrs. she finds herself in the ICU of her local hospital totally paralyzed except for her eyelids.
This is the story of her nightmare illness and the gruelling extensive recovery from Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease which, given the severity of each case, paralyzes muscles but leaves it's victim fully aware and able to feel pain.
Excellent! Al
Nov 30, 2015 Brianna rated it really liked it
As a future healthcare worker, this book most definitely touched my heart. It is about a woman who Guillain-Barre syndrome, and is stuck in a hospital bed paralyzed for 11 months. She talks about her experience with the ICU staff as well as all of the hospital staff. The long term care she receives is extremely poor and heartbreaking. This book most definitely should be required through nursing school!
Holly Lindquist
Aug 24, 2011 Holly Lindquist rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, illness
When Sue Baier first noticed a persistent tingling in her toes, she had no idea that she’d be totally paralyzed and breathing on a respirator within just 48 hours. Struck with a rare auto-immune illness (Guillain-Barré ) that attacked her nervous system, she would spend the next four months completely dependent on hospital staff to tend to her simplest needs. Although she couldn’t move, she was fully aware, and something as simple as an itch could easily become an almost unendurable torment. Som ...more
Val Murray
Feb 25, 2013 Val Murray rated it really liked it
There are very few books that I re-read ... What's the point if you know what's going to happen? I read this book years ago before I had kids and before quite a few more operations. It's a very easy book to read and although Sue has her religious beliefs, she doesn't force that on the reader. Most reviewers say that the health professionals should read this, and while this is true, I think all people should read it to know that you do have rights as a patient to be treated with empathy and kindn ...more
Jodie Reay
May 21, 2014 Jodie Reay rated it really liked it
Must read for any healthcare professionals. This book really opened my eyes to the practice within ICU. Brilliant.
Apr 02, 2016 Minnie rated it really liked it
A great reminder of what it means to be a good nurse and that small acts can make a big difference
Amanda Butler
Jul 17, 2015 Amanda Butler rated it it was amazing
If you're a nurse you definitely should read this one.
Katy Brooks
Jul 20, 2015 Katy Brooks rated it really liked it
Anyone In healthcare should read this book!
Sep 13, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing!!!!! I am a nurse, and it really made me stop and look into my practice, judge myself on how I care for my patients, and realize that people remember when we do not think they do! I learned so much just by reading this book on the thoughts of patients and their perspective on the care that they receive. We as nurses must realize that even though we do not think our patients know what is going on, they may remember everything!
Melanie Kreitlow
Great read. Originally, I hadn't planned on reading the whole book because it was for a class. I started reading and couldn't stop. Definitely a must read!
Dec 05, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing
MUST READ: Anyone in the business of health care- yes you, doctor/anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist/nurse/nurse aide/physical or occupational therapist/etc- needs to read this book. Quick and easy read that offers much needed insight into what it's like to be in that bed that we are so used to standing next to. Written a couple decades ago, but still so relevant. PLEASE read this.
Jul 29, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This was an assigned reading for me in college. Normally I loathe assigned readings, but this one kept me turning the pages. A very fast read and a great way for those in healthcare to truly understand what is going through their patients minds. In my nursing practice, I still find myself thinking back to this book.
Jul 16, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book! I was horrified by the treatment this patient received by the doctors and nurses and ancillary staff. I believe that every nursing student, medical student, or anyone entering the medical profession should read this book to gain insight on the treatment of patients.
Lenny Husen
Oct 01, 2007 Lenny Husen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: medical students
Awesome book about a woman with Guillain-Barre disease. A must for any medical student, also great for the layperson, a human interest story. Unlike the Butterfly and the Bell Jar, about the same disease, this woman does recover.
Mar 01, 2009 Alyssa rated it liked it
This was an assigned reading for school. It was a fairly good book that provided some insight into a patient's experience with spending months in a hospital. For the most part, she liked her PT :)
Aug 26, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
I am giving this 4 stars for the insights and perspective this book gives to healthcare providers. 3 stars for the writing. 5 stars to Sue and those who helped her recover!
Mary Elizabeth Morton
Apr 21, 2012 Mary Elizabeth Morton rated it really liked it
Insightful & thought-provoking. I think anyone who is in health care should read this book. It really made me reflect on my nursing & how I treat those that are in my care.
Aug 05, 2009 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good for anyone that hasn't been a patient without a voice. Especially good for someone in a health care setting that can better understand what the patient goes through.
Dec 28, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
A memoir of Guillain-Barre syndrome from more than 30 years ago. Essential reading for caregivers--still very relevant in today's hospital environment.
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