The Language of Kindness

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

A good read looking at the nursing profession from a different viewpoint
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A beautiful book that will make you cry and humble you at the humanity contained within each page. This book will educate you on what it really means to be a nurse, it includes the history of nursing. The stories have remained with me long after I finished the book. Everyone should read this book to fully appreciate what working in a care setting really involves.
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A real eye opener for anyone not involved in the Health industry. All the hard work and emotional roller coasters that go along with nursing are not always acknowledged, so this was an interesting read.
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This book takes the reader into a hospital and walking alongside the author in her work as a nurse. It is interesting and at times, makes for difficult reading. The author touches on matters in her personal life in an oblique way, reminding us that nurses are human too and have to deal with personal issues just like anyone else, yet have to give so much of themselves in their chosen occupation. It could be read as a "companion book" to any book written by a doctor or consultant, because the latter books seldom make mention of the very important role of the nurse who stays behind to look after the patient when everyone else has left.
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Having recently suffered a berevement, i wasnt sure if this book was right for me.
However, the kindness and devotion from Christie to her patients shines throughout the, yes, somewhat depressingly true stories of the NHS. The writing really flowed and i am now looking into reading her other works.
Thank you for this lovely book.
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This book is amazing! Such great stories told with such compassion, really heartwrenching stuff a lot of the time but the humanity and compassion we are able to have for each other is really brought to life in this book. There are dark sides to it of course, she's a nurse looking after very ill babies - some of them have been abused and its sad but important reading I guess. I didn't really know what to expect from this book but safe to say it exceeded any, please read and I hope its as good for you as it was for me!
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I was given a copy of this book from the book review site NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I myself have worked in nursing for a number of years so i am always interested in books by nurses and I must admit that this is just about the best book I have read in this genre.  The book is beautifully written with her discriptions of her time nursing children moving me to tears I feel honoured to share in her experiences of whom i can only discribe as a very remarkable woman and nurse.  This is a real must read for nurses and for anyone who wants to read a book written with such compasion and warmth
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Beautiful written story, very touching and realistic. 
Nurses face so many challenges and thankfully they have the understanding, kindness and love to do an excellent job every day under so much pressure,. A career that changes lives, that keeps hope alive in the ever changing world of life..
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Such a good read that, makes you realise what a tough job that nurses do and sometimes what little praise that they can receive. Well written
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How can I describe this book? It is autobiographical. Christie takes from her fifteen year old typical teenage girl self through a few years of not having a clue what she wants to do, to be, to a sudden decision to become a nurse.
She takes us eloquently through spells on acute mental health wards, surgical rotations, adult medical, intensive care, paediatrics and more. It is not a list. Not 'I did this then I moved to that'.
Christie provides a non linear narrative that works perfectly. She shares every aspect of nursing; from beginning to end; the first birth she attends to the funeral of a child she nursed for months, always knowing he would die.
There are horrors of ECMO machines exploding painting an entire room - and staff - in the total volume of their patient's blood.
She describes regular 2 am buffets where staff caring for the very sickest of babies get ten minutes to eat and drink so they have the energy to work through a pressured shift with barely time for a pee break.
This is not a manual of nursing practices; nor is Christie painting herself and colleagues as angels. It is lovely. It is sad. It is happy. It is real.
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A fantastically readable medical memoir which really gets to the heart of nursing. It really shows how underrated nurses are as they give everything to their jobs. Heartbreaking, uplifting and wonderful.
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I have read quite a few healthcare-themed memoirs and found many of them moving but none so much as this, a nurses story which resonated deeply, partly because of my own background in mental health care but also because Watson is a wonderful writer. 

The stories of the patients Watson cares for over the years are deeply affecting but what touches the reader the most is the nurse's own story; a story of compassion and caring, technical skills acquired over time and most of all, the tacit knowledge (call it instinct) which sets apart an expert nurse from her more junior colleagues. Watson sensitively weaves in various philosophies and models of nursing, never allowing them to overshadow the everyday nature of much of nursing;  they assist the reader in understanding how philosophers can help the nurse to know themselves better, therefore helping their patients. What also stands out is Watson's advocacy for her colleagues and her refusal to allow us to overlook the living, breathing and feeling human inside a pair of scrubs who cries and rails against the unfairness and indignity of the failing human bodies they care for. Nursing is hard and it takes a toll. If you are a good nurse, you will suffer for it. 

Nursing skills are about fundamentals, not basics and Watson emphasizes through her insistence that nursing is about kindness, care and compassion, all those things that cannot be easily taught in the classroom, although they should be a lynchpin of both practical and theoretical training. What stands out, especially in the earlier part of the book, is the absolute reality of the practice-theory gap, and how only hard time in practice can bridge it.
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