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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Hurry Up Nurse: Memoirs of Nurse Training in the 1970's is a non-fiction memoir written by Dawn Brookes. Brookes has worked with the National Health Service for thirty-nine years, receiving training and certification as both a State Enrolled Nurse and a Registered General Nurse. The stories and anecdotes found within this memoir are based upon her experiences in each of these nursing capacities. When the interviewing committee asked her why she wanted to be a nurse, Brookes had to reach for an answer. Having been blessed with a relatively healthy constitution, she hadn’t really thought about what nurses do and why she wanted to be one. What she did know was that she wanted to help others when they "were at their most vulnerable, when they are ill." That sincere, if off-the-cuff, answer, combined with her passing scores on the entrance exam, were sufficient to gain her access to the two-year course of training to become a State Enrolled Nurse. Brookes had been given the idea of going into nursing by a close friend, who had had to interrupt and abandon her own nurse’s training due to health issues. Her friend had always regretted not continuing for her certification, and Brookes, in a way, was doing it for her. What she soon discovered, however, was that she loved nursing, even with the low pay, irregular hours and the dreaded sluice room. Nursing was everything her friend had said it was -- and more.
I've always had tremendous respect for those dedicated women and men who enter the nursing profession. They're in the front lines and up personal with the patients in a way that no other medical professional is. Brookes' story pulls no punches; there are anecdotes about the less-than-savory aspects of nursing and marvelous tales about pranks, adventures and good comradeship. Brookes is a marvelous, intuitive storyteller; her book reads beautifully, and I found myself enjoying every last bit of it. I especially appreciated seeing life and culture in England during the 1970s through her stories, and sharing in her experiences as she studied and trained for her profession. Brookes writes in an easy, conversational style that makes her book a difficult one to put down, and, having reached the end, I began hoping for more stories from this talented author and dedicated medical professional. Hurry Up Nurse: Memoirs of Nurse Training in the 1970's is an awesome, heartfelt and inspiring read that is most highly recommended.