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Book review: ‘Nurse! Nurse!’ by Jimmy Frazier

This is a narrative account by a career change student, as he negotiates entry to the professional world of nursing. It starts with his acceptance into a degree course, and describes his passage through the various clinical and academic experiences which follow. Optimism and humour are threaded throughout, together with admiration for the many people he works under and with, and for his patients and their families, and indeed for the NHS itself. There are few gripes here: this is a book where every cloud has a silver lining. 

The author’s pleasure at achieving his developmental milestones is palpable. Yet he is very much in charge of his progress, and aware of how it is all affecting him. Your understanding of this comes from his descriptions of events, his dialogues with confreres, his reactions to discouragement and to the persons he admires. Characters enter the story and leave after a few intensive paragraphs, rather like patients are inclined to do in professional life.

The account is of considerable literary merit, descriptions and metaphors always stimulating, never boring; you constantly want to know what happens next. Every active member of the health team will warm to this account, particularly since, written from the viewpoint of a student stating things in simple terms, it is easily understood. This technique also enhances the impression of genuineness. Nothing escapes the writer’s attention, because it is all new to him. He sees the pros and cons, and allows the reader to draw conclusions from the anecdotes. He makes sure to remind us, too, that the TV shows are fiction.  Needless to say it all makes the book an ideal, if not mandatory, read for any one seriously contemplating a similar career move.

Rating: 8/10

Dr Adrian Pointer, a retired primary care physician