Simone's Reviews > Bush Nurses: Inspiring true stories of nursing bravery and ingenuity in rural and remote Australia

Bush Nurses by Annabelle Brayley
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really liked it
bookshelves: net-galley, aww2013, great-aus-reads-2013

With two of my closest friends being nurses, I have always had a huge respect for the job they do. Between the shift work, being rostered on weekends and public holidays and the actual work they do (things that most of us wouldn’t even consider doing), their job is not an easy one by any means. But both my friends (who work in large city hospitals) agree that they’ve got it easy compared to those who work in rural settings. For while their job may be tough and messy, at least they have the support of (sometimes) adequate staff levels, doctors and up to date equipment. Those who are ‘out in the bush’ often have little more than their wits and a great deal of courage and good humour to get them through some of the situations they face.

Annabelle Brayley has linked together dozens of stories – mostly firsthand accounts – celebrating the phenomenal work that bush nurses have done for more than a century and continue to do today. Many of the women featured were city born and bred with little, if any, experience of the bush. Thrust into the deep end, these young women were often the sole medical practitioner in extremely isolated and remote areas. On call 24/7, they not only have to tend to the more mundane medical issues of injections, stitches or administering medication – but also have to attend horrific road or farm accidents, counsel those afflicted with mental illness and even operate on beloved pets. With only the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS) for backup via radio, bush nurses often have to make do with out-dated or non-existent equipment as well as make decisions about illness or injuries that is far beyond the scope of their training.

I think the most amazing thing about this uplifting book is that almost all the accounts from bush nurses are positive. They talk of the difficulties they faced, but not in a negative way. Their emphasis is on the amazing sights they saw, friendships they made and the truly unique experience they gained during their time in the bush.

Well constructed and edited, Bush Nurses is a very easy book to read. With short essays within each chapter, it is a book that can be dipped into and out of or easily read in a single sitting.

Overall Bush Nurses is an inspiring and very uplifting celebration of Bush Nurses and the massive contribution they have made to the health and wellbeing of those Australians who live out bush.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 25, 2013 – Finished Reading
March 27, 2013 – Shelved
March 27, 2013 – Shelved as: net-galley
March 27, 2013 – Shelved as: aww2013
March 27, 2013 – Shelved as: great-aus-reads-2013

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