Where Night Is Day by James Kelly
The World of the ICU (The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work)

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Synopsis

"There is no night in the ICU. There is day, lesser day, then day again. There are rhythms. Every twelve hours: shift change. Report: first all together in the big room, then at the bedside, nurse to nurse. Morning rounds. A group of doctors moves slowly through the unit like a harrow through a field. At each room, like a game, a different one rotates into the center. They leave behind a trail of new orders. Wean, extubate, titrate, start this, stop that, scan, film, scope. The steep hill the patient is asked to climb. Can you breathe on your own? Can you wake up? Can you live?"-from Where Night Is Day

Where Night Is Day is a nonfiction narrative grounded in the day-by-day, hour-by-hour rhythms of an ICU in a teaching hospital in the heart of New Mexico. It takes place over a thirteen-week period, the time of the average rotation of residents through the ICU. It begins in September and ends at Christmas. It is the story of patients and families, suddenly faced with critical illness, who find themselves in the ICU. It describes how they navigate through it and find their way. James Kelly is a sensitive witness to the quiet courage and resourcefulness of ordinary people.

Kelly leads the reader into a parallel world: the world of illness. This world, invisible but not hidden, not articulated by but known by the ill, does not readily offer itself to our understanding. In this context, Kelly reflects on the nature of medicine and nursing, on how doctors and nurses see themselves and how they see each other. Drawing on the words of medical historians, doctor-writers, and nursing scholars, as well as the works of James Agee and Michel de Certeau, Kelly examines the relationship of professional and lay observers to the meaning of illness, empathy, caring, and the silence of suffering. As Kelly reflects on the rise of medicine, the theory of nursing, the argument of care versus cure, he offers up an intimate portrait of the ICU and its inhabitants.

 

About James Kelly

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James Kelly works in critical care as an RN in the ICU at Lovelace Women's Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
 
Published March 8, 2013 by ILR Press. 247 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Where Night Is Day

Kelly (registered nurse, Lovelace Women's Hospital, Albuquerque) draws on his experiences as an intensive-care nurse to put a human face on the decisions made by the practitioners of medicine. He writes about patients not simply as biological problems, but as complex individuals whose health and ...

May 01 2013 | Read Full Review of Where Night Is Day: The World...

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