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I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out

True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (503 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out, a collection of true narratives, reflects the dynamism and diversity of nurses who provide the first vital line of patient care. Here, nurses remember their first "sticks", first births, and first deaths and reflect on what gets them though long, demanding shifts and keeps them in the profession.

The stories reveal many voices from nurses at different stages of their careers: One nurse-in-training longs to be trusted with more "important" procedures while another questions her ability to care for nursing home residents. An efficient young emergency room nurse finds his life and career irrevocably changed by a car accident. A nurse practitioner wonders whether she has violated professional boundaries in her care for a homeless man with AIDS. And a home-care case manager is the sole attendee at a funeral for one of her patients.

What connects these stories is the passion and strength of the writers who struggle against burnout and bureaucracy to serve their patients with skill, empathy, and strength.

©2013 Creative Nonfiction Foundation (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Beautifully written stories." (Booklist)

"Tavia Gilbert’s narration of these essays written by nurses is beautiful and profound....  Gilbert translates all the emotions, including fear, gallows humor, gratitude, and empathy." (AudioFile)

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Average Customer Ratings

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Kept my interest

I do not work in the medical field, yet hold those that do in the highest regard. This book kept my interest. It was fascinating to hear so many nursing perspectives - from a mercy ship to pediatrics.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Was not able to read it

Any additional comments?

Started great and I think I will be great listen but I would never know. This was little too much for me, I too faint hearted for this. Some of the stories are little hard to bear.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet
  • RALEIGH, NC, United States
  • 08-16-15

A nurse must read!

Great narrator, this keeps all books flowing. Good experiences, very true to the profession. from my 27 year experience. Gotta Love it😘😷

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional compilation of nurses' stories!

I have been an RN and an NP for ten years collectively, and every one of these nurses' stories resonated with me! This compilation has inspired me during a time in my career when I'm at a loss as to what to do next. Thank you so much for sharing!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Review of I wasn't strong like this when I fist started

As a nurse for more than 34 yrs, I totally related to this book!
I enjoyed every minute! The stories were real & engaging

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Al
  • 04-13-18

RNs will enjoy this book

I could relate to this book as could most nurses because of the honest and insightful way it was written. Anyone who is considering going into the nursing profession may want to read this book. It is well written.
I am a retired RN and I can relate to many of these experiences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Tou hing

Loved this book. I will be listening to it again. I would recommend it for all Nurses.

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Intimate look at Nursing

I think this is very well done. Gives a pretty good perspective on the nursing profession and the emotions that often flow beneath the surface.

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  • CY
  • 11-09-18

Pronunciation isn’t always on point...still a good read!

The narrator stumbles over some of the medical terms, but otherwise she does a great job. Amazing listen for nurses/ nurse practitioners. Would also recommend it for anyone related to or married to a nurse. This book does a great job at explaining that nursing isn’t just a job, but a way of life.

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Fantastic book!

I relate to something from each nurse's story. I was captivated from beginning to end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-19-17

Loved it

I really enjoyed this book. It was heartbreaking, funny and inspiring all at once. It's made me think more seriously about pursuing a career in nursing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-19

beautiful

as a new RN I heavily enjoyed this read with a bit of everything you can't go wrong with this read