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By Patrice Rancour


232 pp., Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau, 2008, $19.95, paperback.


Review: Patrice Rancour, a clinical nurse specialist at a cancer hospital, has written a collection of 32 personal stories (names changed for anonymity) from "a day in the life." Rancour writes in a captivating style, making you feel you are there each time her pager goes off and she is summoned to deal with yet another nursing situation, another crisis. For example, she tells the story of being summoned to tell a young man who developed an acute infection after a knee arthroscopy and has been unconscious that he became septic, almost died, and had an above-the-knee amputation. She writes, "I am aware once again of this moment as a turning point in this person's life. I am aware that from now on, he will remember life as before this moment and after this moment. I am aware[horizontal ellipsis]I stay at the bedside while he sobs and sobs and sobs. There is nothing to say, nothing to do but be with him. Two strangers, one of them bearing witness to the other's suffering. The bed shakes with his sobbing. It is deep-felt. It is mournful. It is soul-wrenching. To help me bear his pain, I must remind myself to breathe."


Although short, the stories explore in depth the intimate and profound work of nursing. One caution is the story of "The Reiki Queen," where Rancour tells of administering an energy treatment to a patient. Christian nurses should understand Reiki is based on an alternative worldview contrary to Scripture. However, this book helped me celebrate the calling and ministry of nursing and be grateful that God called me to do this special work.




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