Tell me the truth!

  1. I am a nursing student, reading Echo Heron's books. They have me exhilarated, intimidated and wondering what I am getting myself into!
    So, here's the deal... is your nursing career anything like Echo's?
    Do you see yourself as the modern Florence Nightingale, fighting the administration and doctors the whole way? Are you on the verge of burnout all the time from your job? Did you get an ulcer in nursing school that only gets worse as your career progresses? Do you have a life outside of the hospital?

    While her stories are very entertaining and I have been enthralled with all that I have read, I wonder how much of it is a little bit fictionalized for the readers benefit. I'd like to know what you experienced nurses think?

    BTW... know any other good reads?
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    I think her books are pretty realistic, though of course all the interesting patients are condensed into just a few shifts rather than over a year or so. You deal with the same issues as she describes, so yeah, if I was looking for a book to describe nursing I think her's would be #1,2,and 3 on the list.
  4. by   tattooednursie
    Well, I'll tell ya. I am only a CNA, not a nurse, and I have an ulcer, no life other than work, and I am feeling burnt out. UGH! Everyone else is so relaxed at their job, and it seems that I am the only one who struggles. I do love my job, it has become part of me, and part of who I am. I really should read those books.
  5. by   canoehead
    Mandi, your ulcer and burnout are the reasons so many people encouraged you to slow down and be a kid for awhile before taking on a full time job and managing your own household. I think you did great, certainly more than I could have done at your age, but you have to remember to give yourself a break once in awhile.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    see below pls.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jun 16, '03
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    Ok Mandi----canoehead is right. you were WARNED....(I was one of the strongest opponents against you getting your own place and taking on so much at 17)....Good news.....it's not too late to reclaim some of your youth and learn to have a good time...or you will be truly spent and fizzed out by the time you are my age (in your 30s).

    Now as to the original question----Echo Herron's books are good, but you need to LIVE it to understand nursing, just like anything in life. No book will tell you everything you need to understand, you know ? Spend some time "in the trenches" with some "real" nurses and you will see what it's really like and fine the "truth"....
  8. by   LeesieBug
    I think the books are interesting, but the thing to remember is that they are her personal experiences. Just because she happens to be in the same profession we are going into doesn't mean we will have the same experiences as her, handle them the same way, or feel the same way about them.

    I liked the one she wrote that included stories from many different nurses. It showed that everyone has a different experience, and views things a different way. I found that book to be much more inspirational, and look forward to to creating my own story!
  9. by   sjoe
    For many of us, our experiences have been much WORSE than Echo's. Read through some of the threads on this BB if you need any convincing of that.

    Another book you might want to read as a nursing student is Virginia Olesen's: "The Silent Dialogue"

    And since you brought it up, you might also want to read F.B. Smith's "Florence Nightingale," for a more accurate picture of that person and her life than you will learn at any nursing school.

    More than you wanted to know....
    Last edit by sjoe on Jun 16, '03
  10. by   roxannekkb
    Echo Heron is also no longer working as a nurse, if that tells you something!
  11. by   susanmary
    Have not read her books. Do not feel I am a modern day Florence nightengale. Do not have an ulcer. Cut my hours substantially when I began to burn out. Do not fight doctors all the way. Only feel I am fighting administration when we need better staffing. My work is not my life. My family is -- and I have NEVER confused the two.
  12. by   Nurse2bSandy
    Hey, thanks for all the replies! I must say that the books have me rapt... and very scared for my future! I don't know if I'm ready for this!
    Susanmary, thanks for your answers to my questions. If I thought I would be in as bad of shape as Echo Heron, I don't know if it would be worth it! I don't want and ulcer or to live for a job that keeps me depressed and burned out... her stay on Monserrat sounded wonderful though!
    I guess we will all have our own nursing stories to tell... some may be more colorful than others!

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