healthcare, law

The latest from the COVID-19 wingnut files…

Regular readers may notice that I’ve recently reposted a bunch of old blog posts. I mostly try to keep the reposts to things like book reviews, because I know that book reviews can be useful long after they’re originally written. I’ve also been reposting other items that I think are worth reading from my original blog. Moving away from the Blogspot platform has been difficult in some ways, mainly because there’s a lot of material there that I genuinely think is good stuff. Of course, there’s also a lot of stuff that isn’t so good. So that’s part of the reason for the many reposts.

But there’s another reason why I’ve been reposting so much old material. It’s partly because nowadays, so much of what I could be writing about involves one of a few subjects dominating the news right now– rightwing politics (Trump, in particular), abortion (especially in Texas), and COVID-19. Let me just say, I am so TIRED of COVID-19. I’m tired of thinking about it, and I’m tired of writing about it. I’m sure that many people are tired of reading about it. It’s a depressing subject.

And yet, I continue to be amazed by some of the crazy news the pandemic has spawned. Last night, just before I went to sleep, I read an article about Angela Underwood, a registered nurse in Kentucky, whose husband is dying of COVID-19. Underwood’s husband Lonnie, is 58 years old, and is currently in the intensive care unit at Norton Brownsboro Hospital in Louisville.

For some reason, Ms. Underwood thinks she knows more than the actual physicians who are treating her husband. She sued the hospital because the healthcare providers in charge of her husband’s care have allegedly refused to administer ivermectin to her husband. Writes Nurse Underwood in her complaint, filed last week:

“As a Registered Nurse, I demand my husband be administered ivermectin whether by a Norton physician or another healthcare provider of my choosing including myself if necessary,”

Underwood also stated, “I am [Lonnie’s] healthcare advocate… The studies and research does show the effectiveness of the medication when given to those patients in the trial.”

Angela Underwood has asked the court to designate the unproven treatment as “medically indicated,” even though ivermectin is not actually recommended for treating or preventing COVID-19. I first heard of ivermectin when one of my dogs had heartworms, back in the late 1980s. Before COVID-19, I knew of ivermectin as primarily used for heartworm prevention and treatment in dogs, as well as a dewormer for horses and other animals. Yes, there are some medicinal uses for it in human beings, but not for treating COVID-19. In humans, it’s used for treating worm infestations, river blindness, rosacea, and head lice.

Unfortunately, just as some people were drinking bleach, taking hydrochloroquine, and ingesting fish tank cleaner last year, this year, there are many people who have bought into the erroneous idea that ivermectin is an effective treatment against COVID-19. But, it’s not. According to the Washington Post:

“[Ivermectin] hasn’t been proven to be effective [against COVID-19],” said Michael Saag, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “If I saw evidence that it worked, I would be one of the first to use it. But the truth is, there are no data that support its use.”

And Dr. Saag is not the only medical professional who says that ivermectin doesn’t work for COVID-19 and isn’t indicated. The idea that ivermectin might work against the virus caught on when Australian researchers noted that ivermectin killed the virus in laboratory settings. However, the amount of the drug needed to kill the virus was much higher than the safe dosage for humans. Moreover, lab settings aren’t the same as actual “real life” settings. If you click the link in this paragraph, you will be taken to a site that discusses the Australian research on ivermectin. But, you will notice that right there in black and white, it says:

  • Do NOT self-medicate with Ivermectin and do NOT use Ivermectin intended for animalsRead the FDA caution online.
  • Whilst shown to be effective in the lab environment, Ivermectin cannot be used in humans for COVID-19 until further testing and clinical trials have been completed to establish the effectiveness of the drug at levels safe for human dosing.
  • For any medical questions you have about your health, please consult your health care provider.
  • The potential use of Ivermectin to combat COVID-19 remains unproven, and depends on pre-clinical testing and clinical trials to progress the work.

Nevertheless, Angela Underwood and her ilk, in spite of having sought medical attention at hospitals for themselves and/or loved ones, apparently think they know better than physicians. And so, instead of following the care plan set up by the actual doctors treating her husband, Ms. Underwood wants to make medical decisions. Evidently, she thinks her nursing degree holds up to the medical school education her husband’s doctors have received. But even if Nurse Underwood actually had a degree in medicine, it wouldn’t be ethical or wise for her to treat her husband, anyway. She doesn’t have the appropriate professional detachment needed to treat her husband with objectivity.

Fortunately, Jefferson Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham has better sense than Nurse Underwood does. He’s issued a “scathing response” to Underwood’s lawsuit. According to the Washington Post:

“[the court] cannot require a hospital to literally take orders from someone who does not routinely issue such orders,” …[Cunningham] noted in his ruling how the Kentucky Supreme Court “only allows admission of scientific evidence based on sufficient facts or data.”

The judge continued:

“Unfortunately, the Internet has no such rule. It is rife with the ramblings of persons who spout ill-conceived conclusions if not out-right falsehoods… If Plaintiff wants to ask the Court to impose her definition of ‘medically indicated’ rather than the hospital’s, she needs to present the sworn testimony of solid witnesses, espousing solid opinions, based on solid data.”

In other words, Ms. Underwood is not a medical doctor. Neither is the judge. Trying to force Lonnie Underwood’s physicians to allow certain drugs to be administered is outside of Judge Cunningham’s area of expertise. And if, by chance, the off label use of ivermectin led to a bad outcome, isn’t it possible that Ms. Underwood might then sue for medical malpractice?

I congratulate the judge for rendering his wise decision. I wish all judges had that much sense as Judge Cunningham has. Sadly, some judges think they’re physicians, too.

Last month, in Ohio, a judge ordered a hospital to administer ivermectin to a patient with COVID-19, even though “the Food and Drug Administration has not approved ivermectin to treat or prevent covid-19 and has advised against that use amid spiking calls to poison centers after people took potent versions of the drug meant for livestock.”

Then, another Ohio judge reversed the first judge’s order. The second judge, like Judge Cunningham in Kentucky, realized that judges are not doctors. Moreover, human beings are not horses or dogs or cats… So, unless you have a parasitic infection or rosacea, it’s best to leave the ivermectin on the shelf. And don’t waste time and money on lawsuits, because again, judges and lawyers are experts in LAW, not medicine.

It’s become all too clear that not all legal professionals and lawmakers have the common sense and wisdom Judge Cunningham does. Yesterday’s fresh post was about the new abortion ban in Texas, and how it will probably lead to a lot of suffering and deaths. Why? BECAUSE THE MEN WHO MADE THE LAW ARE NOT MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS!!!!! Moreover, they lacked the foresight , wisdom, and care to seek advice and insight from people who practice medicine for a living and know about the scenarios that can arise in pregnancies that would necessitate abortion for medical reasons.

Lawmakers are the same people who tried to pass a law requiring that ectopic pregnancies be “re-implanted” in a woman’s uterus. They did this (as if a woman’s body is like a planter), even though it’s technologically IMPOSSIBLE to re-implant a tubal pregnancy, and ectopic pregnancies must always be terminated, at least at this point in time. Lawmakers and lawyers are not medical experts. But some of them simply don’t realize, or want to admit, that when it comes to medical matters, they need to stay in their lane!

Why go to a hospital for care if you’re not going to follow the advice of the medical experts there? I realize that there are situations in which it’s right for a patient to speak up. However, when it comes to treating and preventing COVID-19, I really don’t think that following wacky conspiracy theories spouted on Fox News or YouTube is the best course of action.

Angela Underwood did find a doctor in Indiana who was willing to prescribe ivermectin, but she claims the hospital would not allow him emergency privileges. But Cunningham, who was filling in for another judge who was more sympathetic to Underwood’s case, wrote “Frankly, even a doctor who was in the trenches in 2020 fighting hand-to-hand against the virus, is probably not up-to-date with what works and what fails in late 2021 because the virus has mutated and our responses and therapies have evolved with it.

Cunningham continued, regarding Underwood’s desire to find a hospital more willing to administer ivermectin, “This is impractical because it is likely that no such hospital in the United States, or certainly in this region, agrees with Plaintiff. Moreover, her husband’s medical circumstances may make such a transfer unjustifiably risky.

I truly do have a concept of wanting to try everything, especially when a loved one is sick and dying. I’m sure Ms. Underwood’s reasons for wanting to try ivermectin are borne out of concern and despair. But I also think it’s foolhardy to try to use horse dewormer to fight a deadly virus. I agree with Judge Cunningham’s wise decision wholeheartedly. I think it’s very astute.

According to the Washington Post, Angela Underwood’s husband, Lonnie, remains in the hospital and is fighting for his life. Thoughts and prayers for him… and hopefully, both of them will get vaccinated, if they haven’t been yet. So far, unlike ivermectin, the vaccines actually have been proven to work against preventing and lessening the severity of COVID-19.

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fiction, silliness

Don’t Say It’s Quiet… another kinky short story for Sara…

A few days ago, I wrote a post called “Call the COVID Coven“. Originally, I meant to write a short story for my friend, Sara, who works on the COVID-19 unit at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I had written another story for her back in May, when she complained about the excessive personal protection equipment she must wear every day to take care of patients with COVID-19.

But the day I tried to write the newer story, WordPress was being wonky and wouldn’t let me post. The mood passed, and I didn’t get around to actually writing the story. I just wrote about the preliminary idea I had to write one. Well… last night, Sara posted today’s featured photo and I was blessed (or cursed) again with the urge to write something creative. So here goes. This one’s for you, Sara. Hope you’ll still want to be friends.

When last we left our heroine, Sara, the COVID-19 warrior, she was being tortured by Nurse Echo, a sadistic and kinky nursing supervisor who thought Sara needed a lesson in empathy. Day after day, marathon shift after marathon shift, Nurse Echo stood over Sara like Sergeant Blast, forcing her to wear ever more hot and oppressive PPE as she tended to patients. It would have been bad enough if the PPE were the normal kind. But Sarah’s PPE was kinky, which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on one’s tastes.

Spitting image of Nurse Echo!

Nurse Echo wasn’t big on back talk, and she had a talent for design. Because she was tired of hearing her nurses complain about typing notes with gloves and face shields, she came up with a required face mask that also served as a very effective gag. Sometimes, if she was feeling especially charitable, Nurse Echo would let the nurses choose which type of gag they preferred: ball gag, ring gag, or penis shaped. Sara hated them all, but she needed her job. Besides, Nurse Echo wouldn’t let her leave the unit until every task was done to her satisfaction. And it seemed that Nurse Echo was never satisfied. She always felt things could be done better, and she would not back down when her nurses protested her slave driving style of management.

They had a strict rule on the COVID-19 floor at Kaputnik Hospital. “Don’t say it’s quiet.” The minute anyone ever said that, all hell would break loose. The craziest people would come in, their eyeballs hanging out of their sockets, or their noses bleeding incessantly, or vomit and diarrhea spewing from both ends… The nurses at the hospital knew. If things were slow, just enjoy it and eat bean dip and bon-bons. Things would inevitably pick up again, but maybe no one would be splattered with piss or pus or any of the other body fluids that show up on a busy hospital ward.

It was actually pretty quiet on the ward that night, as a trickle of sweat ran down Sara’s back under the rubbery gown she was forced to wear. She did feel confident that she would be able to finish her scut work earlier than usual. Maybe there would be time for a Gatorade and some Fritos before the next shift. But Sara was afraid to even think too long about how quiet it was. She had to get things done on time, or Nurse Echo would penalize her with extra thick gloves or an extra heavy visor on her helmet.

Shifting in her seat, Sara stole a glance at Nurse Echo. No one knew much about her. Where had she come from? Why was she so sadistic? She was an excellent nurse with meticulous skills, but she had the personality of a pissed off porcupine. Patients were lucky if she grunted “good morning” at them as she adjusted the tubes and wires that kept them connected to this life. Some of the patients who weren’t so sick whispered to Sara that Nurse Echo was scary. All Sara could do was nod in acknowledgment. She didn’t dare confirm the patient’s suspicions.

“Nurse!” Sara was jarred out of her reverie by the sound of Nurse Echo’s clipped British accent and the sound of her rubber pantaloons rubbing together as her thighs collided with each hobbled step.

Sara looked up at her boss, who was frowning, as usual. “Yes, Nurse Echo?” Sara responded, keeping her voice professional but betraying a certain timidness.

Nurse Echo scowled at her underling. She hated it when they sniveled. She hated it more when they were assertive.

“Are you finished with those notes yet? Mr. Trump has just made a huge mess in his bed and I expect you to clean it up promptly.” Nurse Echo snarled.

Sara rolled her eyes, thankful that the visor hid some of her deep resentment toward the orange haired cretin in room 432. He had recently been evicted from his housing and kicked out of his luxury hotel by his wife. After consorting with one too many Russian prostitutes, he had come down with the dreaded bug for the second time! But this time, no one at Walter Reed wanted to give him care.

“I’m almost finished Nurse Echo. It’s been a blessing tonight that things are so–” Sara said.

“Don’t you DARE say it!” Nurse Echo boomed. “Just for that, I think you need another layer of protection. Trade in that N95 for one of my special masks. NOW!”

“Aw… do I have to?” Sara whined. “I hate the taste of them.”

“You KNOW the rules! And clearly I can’t trust you to protect yourself by keeping quiet about–” Nurse Echo stopped herself just in time. There was one thing Sara did like about her boss. Nurse Echo never asked anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. And if she had violated the rules, she too would need to “mask up”… and thensome.

Sara went into the medical supply room and found Nurse Echo’s special gag masks. She chose one that was shaped like a ring, covered it in bean dip, and was about to strap it on when she noticed the bottle of tequila in the corner. Feeling a little cheeky and more than a bit over Nurse Echo’s oppressive overbearingness, Sara quickly did a shot. Then she dutifully “protected herself” from more potentially ruinous outbursts, fastening the thick rubber straps around her head.

Nurse Echo smiled with satisfaction as she watched Sara stride resolutely toward Mr. Trump’s room. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door, gave herself a moment to recover from the bowling ball like way the stench hit her, and went into the room to deal with Mr. Trump’s trauma.

“Sorry…” Trump mumbled as Sara took in the mess. He wasn’t yet on a respirator, but his orange hair was complimented weirdly by the slightly bluish tinge to his skin. Sara smiled to herself as she realized that orange and blue are complementary colors. The mumbled apology didn’t sound the slightest bit sincere. She was surprised he’d said it. But then, he wasn’t very popular these days…

Unable to verbally respond to Trump’s “apology”, Sara willed herself to look kind as she nodded acknowledgment and cleaned up the mess. The many Big Macs and Whoppers Trump had enjoyed had really done a number. But Sara was a professional, and she had him clean and dry in no time.

She went back to her charting as Nurse Echo wandered the hall, looking in on patients, disciplining Sara’s co-workers, and tapping her ever present riding crop against her meaty hands. Nurse Echo was in a good mood, for once. She hadn’t yet made Sara wear the helmet, which was one of her favorite punitive garments for her nurses.

As she was typing the last notes into the computer, the doors to the COVID-19 unit burst open. Sara’s colleague, a young male nurse named Leon, came bursting on duty. Sara usually liked Leon. He was funny and energetic, and he worked very hard and at a high level of professionalism. But today, he said the dreaded words…

“Man! Why is it so quiet on the ward today?!” he boomed.

“On no…” Sara’s co-worker, Holly, moaned.

“What did I hear you say?” Nurse Echo growled.

“I didn’t mean it. Honest!” Leon moaned.

“You know what to do…” Nurse Echo hissed. Her eyes cast at the supply closet, and Sara knew that if Leon fucked up again, he’d be spending the night in the restraint wrap.

“Man, I wish I could quit this job…” Sara muttered behind the gag. “The money and hours are just too good to quit.”

“Move it!” Nurse Echo boomed as Leon scuttled away.

And just like that, the phones lit up and the first of many new patients arrived at the door. It was going to be a very long night. As Nurse Echo attended to the gasping young man who had just arrived on the hall, Sara noticed Mr. Trump’s call light blinking. She cast a furtive look at the private parts protector (PPP) Nurse Echo had designed expressly for patients like Mr. Trump, who wasn’t sick enough to stop grabbing women by the pussy. But Sara didn’t feel like suiting up…

She would come to regret that decision…

To be continued? Probably… but maybe not today.

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book reviews

And finally, my review of Hurry Up Nurse: More adventures in the life of a student nurse by Dawn Brookes

I’ve been reading British author Dawn Brookes’ books about her training as a nurse in England, back in the late 70s and early 80s. I have just finished her third and final book on the subject, Hurry Up Nurse: More adventures in the life of a student nurse. Brookes, who “fell” into nursing as an eighteen year old back in 1977, went on to have a successful career. She started out as an “enrolled nurse”, which I understand is no longer a classification used in Britain. She went on to become a registered nurse, then a midwife.

The first book in this series is about Brookes’ initial training in her home town of Leicester. The second book is about her training at the London Chest Hospital. The third book is about her more advanced training in the south of England, where she spent most of her career. It was in the south of England that Brookes became a leader, rather than a staff nurse. Brookes writes that she eventually earned master’s degrees in nursing, but none of her books cover that story, and to be honest, after the third book, I’m not sure I’m that curious anymore.

As it was in her earlier books, Dawn Brookes has a pleasant, amiable tone in her writing as she relates anecdotes about working as a nurse in the 80s. She seems like a very caring, kind, and entertaining person. However, my observations about this third installment of her series about her nurse’s training remain the same as they were in my earlier reviews. Brookes does a lot of skimming over her topics and doesn’t really get too deep into the subject matter. The end result is that I’m not left with much of a lasting impression of what she’s trying to say.

I did learn another British euphemism, though. In one tale, Brookes writes about working with new mothers and their babies and how, back in the 80s, breastfeeding wasn’t necessarily pushed as a good thing. Brookes candidly writes that she kind of liked it when the moms declined to breastfeed; that way, she could feed the babies while mom had a “kip”. I had to look up the word “kip”, as I’d not run across it before. I assumed it means “nap”, which it does. But at least I know for sure.

Just as she did in her other two books, Brookes ended the third installment very abruptly. One minute, I was reading about her being grilled by a nursing instructor who was observing her work. Another, she’s passed, and the book is finished. Actually, this time I was more prepared. When I got to the sentence where she wrote she’d passed the observation, I knew the book would be ending on the next page. Sure enough, it did, but the ending was still sudden and a bit jarring. I think this book would have been better if Brookes had taken a little more time to prepare the reader for the crash ending. I also think that Brookes should consider consolidating the books into one volume and hire an editor. She has a story to tell, but her books don’t flow very easily and I think she adds too much irrelevant information without enough “meat” that would hook a reader who really wants to know about nurse’s training in Britain in the 70s.

Reading these books wasn’t a total waste of time, though. I did learn some new things, and Brookes isn’t a bad writer at all. I just think these books deserve some polish and readers deserve writing that is better edited and more fleshed out. And this last book, while to me somewhat more enjoyable than the second book was, seemed a bit like it was cobbled together, not unlike a second or third sequel for a movie. They’re usually done strictly for money and don’t stand up to the first installment.

Anyway, if you’re interested, the link to buy is below. I’m an Amazon Associate, so if you do purchase through my site, I will get a small commission from Amazon.

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book reviews

A review of Hurry Up Nurse: London Calling, by Dawn Brookes

A week ago, I reviewed a book by retired British nurse Dawn Brookes called Hurry Up Nurse: Memoirs of Nurse Training in the 1970s. When I downloaded that book, I didn’t realize that Brookes had written two sequels. Although her first book didn’t blow me away, I was entertained enough by it to purchase the two follow-ups. They weren’t very expensive and I have plenty of time for reading.

Last night, I finished Brookes’ second book in this series, Hurry Up Nurse: London Calling. As I mentioned in the first review, Dawn Brookes began a long nursing career in the late 1970s, when she was just eighteen years old. Her training occurred under a now obsolete program in which would be nurses could enroll for classes to get basic skills for the job. Britain’s nursing training program has since changed significantly, making Brookes’ story somewhat more interesting, since she was trained in a way that today’s nurses wouldn’t be.

Dawn Brookes’ second book is about her specialist’s training at London Chest Hospital, which she completed after she finished her basic training in her hometown of Leicester. Her instructors in Leicester had recommended that Brookes go on to specialize, since she had a knack for nursing. Brookes explains that she had initially gotten into nursing because she couldn’t decide what to do with her life. It was a lucky stab in the dark, because she found that she enjoyed taking care of people. Nevertheless, the job had its unpleasant realities, which she confronted head on at London Chest Hospital. For instance, one of her duties was to collect sputum samples and check them for signs of disease. It was a duty that no one relished.

Brookes writes that she lived in the “nurse’s home” at the hospital, along with lots of other young students. I got a kick out of reading about one of her colleagues, a young woman named Jen who came from Stornoway. I was just in Stornoway, a picturesque town in northern Scotland, just a few months ago. Brookes hadn’t known where Stornoway was until she befriended Jen.

The nurse’s home was basically a dorm. The students were paid a pittance, and Dawn Brookes soon discovered that her desire to have fun and eat well was eating up too much of her pay. She loved living in London, though, and found it easy to find shifts at agencies, which paid well and helped her supplement her income. Brookes also enjoyed smoking, but after working at the chest hospital, she discovered what happens when people smoke too much and eventually gave up the habit.

Included in the second volume are stories about some of Brookes’ more memorable patients, people with lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, and those who needed complicated surgeries. Brookes doesn’t go into deep detail about any of these cases; she mainly includes anecdotes that kind of scratch the surface. Some of the anecdotes are funny, and some are poignant and sad. She includes stories about some of her more memorable teachers, including one who berated her for considering taking a better paid job at a private hospital. Brookes explains that the London Chest Hospital had taken her on, even though she hadn’t really met their usual requirements. But her teachers said she had “ward sister” potential– again, kind of a mystery for most of us American readers– but I guess that means they spotted her leadership potential.

I thought this book was a decent read, though once again, I was left surprised by a very abrupt ending and an invitation to read book 3, which I started last night. Most of my comments about this book are the same as they were for the first book. There’s some terminology that may be unfamiliar to those who aren’t from Britain, although if you are inclined to look up words you don’t know, that could be educational. I wasn’t prepared for the ending to come as soon as it did. I guess that’s a hazard of reading on Kindle rather than an actual book. Nurses may find this a fun read, particularly those from Britain who may have some understanding of context. Brookes seems like a very nice person and her “voice” is pleasing. I just think she’d have done better with an editor who could help make her books flow more and end more gently. Still, if you’ve read the first book, I think the second one is also worth the effort.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon from purchases made through my site.

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book reviews

A review of Hurry Up Nurse: Memoirs of nurse training in the 1970s

Sometimes, I like to read self published books. I find that they don’t have the same slick editing that comes from a lot of books released by major publishers. Self-published books are sometimes a little bit rougher around the edges, yet more candid. That makes them more interesting. Dawn Brookes, author of Hurry Up Nurse: Memoirs of nurse training in the 1970s. I can tell by the way the book is written, but also by the publisher– Dawn Brookes Publishing. We know what that means, right?

Dawn Brookes is a very British lady who spent 39 years working as a nurse in England. She started in 1977, when she turned up at an interview for nurse’s training in Leicester. The funny thing is, I was actually living in England in 1977. My father was, at that time, the base engineer at Mildenhall Air Force Base, in Suffolk. Dawn Brookes was 18 years old, same age as my eldest sister, Betsy. That little factoid immediately helped me relate to her very colorful stories about what it was like to be trained as a nurse in England during the 70s. She also mentions visiting a couple of places I went to in 2016– Thetford and Watton– both in Norfolk and on the way to Norwich. I went there in 2016 after a Scottish cruise to see Mildenhall and the area where I spent three years of my early childhood. Anyway, enough about me and my British connections.

Dawn Brookes was a typical young lady in England, not knowing much about what she was going to do with her life. As it often happens with young people without a specific direction, Brookes found herself in a set of circumstances that led her to enter the nursing field. Her book, which has since been followed by two sequels I haven’t yet read– and hope are better than the Karate Kid sequels I sat through the other night— is about her training as a nurse in England over forty (!) year ago.

One thing that struck me about Hurry Up Nurse is that the years have really flown by. It doesn’t seem like 1977 was that long ago, but as Brookes writes about her days as a young nurse, I’m reminded of how things have changed. For instance, back in those days, nurses in England wore caps and white uniforms with belts. They even had capes and gloves! Nowadays, nurses dress for comfort and practicality. In the early days of Ms. Brookes’ career, patients were put in huge wards with about forty beds. Now, I’m guessing the wards still exist, but they’re smaller. Ditto for equipment that made nursing less taxing on the nurses’ backs and drugs that are better than what was available in the 70s. Brookes mentions drugs, equipment, and treatments that were used 40 years ago, but really doesn’t give them a thorough discussion. They more or less get mentioned in passing. The same goes for the title, “Hurry Up Nurse”, which gets mentioned several times, but not really explained in a memorable way.

Another thing that struck me about Hurry Up Nurse is how very different some British slang is compared to American slang. For example, a couple of days ago, I posted an excerpt from Ms. Brookes’ book about how she used to enjoy eating “faggots” when she was a girl. “Faggot”, of course, means something entirely different to Americans. In British English, it can refer to a pile of sticks or, as I’ve learned because of this book, a type of sausage made of offal. In America, “faggot” is a derogatory insult to male homosexuals. Dawn Brookes uses a lot of British slang and, sometimes, takes for granted that everyone reading her book is from the United Kingdom. It’s not unreasonable that she would assume that most readers are English, since this is a self-published book. And I’m not sad that I had to look up some of her less familiar terms, since I learned new things. I just want to warn American readers that they may have to do a little extra work to understand everything, even if the book is in English.

Dawn Brookes comes off as friendly and funny, and she did surprisingly well as a nurse and earned several qualifications, even though she seemed to end up in the field by happenstance. However, this book, though entertaining and kind of educational in its own way, isn’t very well organized. The book doesn’t really flow like a story and seems more like a group of anecdotes cobbled together. I mostly enjoyed the anecdotes, but I didn’t really get a sense of the people Ms. Brookes writes about. It’s not like Echo Heron’s marvelous book, Intensive Care, from 1987, which told the story of her training, as well as stories about people she’d worked with, and special patients she knew in a linear fashion. Brookes’ book is not linear and therefore comes off as somewhat less personal. On the other hand, at times I was reminded a little bit of Call the Midwife, and it’s a good thing I’ve seen that show, because Ms. Brookes also includes terminology and job titles that we Americans would mostly never get, like “ward sister”. What the hell is that? I could kind of figure it out because I’ve seen British TV, but other readers might need to do some Googling.

The book ends very abruptly, too. I was in the middle of a good story last night, turned the page, and all of a sudden, it was over. I was actually a little surprised by the sudden stop and went looking for more. Alas, that was it, and I was left a little wanting, as if Dawn Brookes had left me with a cliffhanger.

I liked the book enough that I decided to order the next two parts of her trilogy. I expect they will be more of the same… although if they’re as bad as The Karate Kid part III, I’ll be pissed. I got on a Karate Kid kick because I just watched the second season of Cobra Kai, which also wasn’t as good as the first, and needed to refresh my memory about the Karate Kid films. The second part wasn’t as good as the first, but the third part stunk to high heaven. I doubt the next two Hurry Up Nurse books will be that bad, though. I just hope that Brookes finds an editor… not a slick one, mind you, but one who can make her books flow logically and lyrically, so they’re easier and more fun to read and do less wandering. She has some good stuff here– and I did learn some things by reading– but I’m afraid I’m having trouble remembering anything specific to comment on, other than the fact that I learned a new meaning of the word “faggots”.

I’ll give it 3.5 stars out of 5, and we’ll see what I think of her other two books…

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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