With her trademark wit and razor-sharp sensibilities, Echo Heron, the critical care nurse whose New York Times bestseller, Intensive Care, gives readers an intimate view into the emotional and often shocking world behind the closed doors of a hospital, now returns to Redwoods Memorial Hospital. Set amid the chaos of code blues and hospital politics, Condition Critical is the continuing story of a nurse: the intimate stranger who is sister, mother, confessor and healer. As bootleg copies of Intensive Care send shock waves through the staff lounges, Echo Heron tackles the daily disorder of caring for patients in a large city hospital. She walks that perpetual tightrope of stress, bureaucratic idiocy, and everyday disasters caused by understaffing, and pressure from the hospital administration. She fleshes out patient vignettes in ways that stay in one’s memory. She will make readers laugh and cry with this often shocking look a life in the trenches: The infamous “haunted” room 5/6. Nights in ER spent tending stabbing and shooting traumas, freak accidents and child abuse. Then there are the patients themselves: the schizophrenic convict who must recover in time for his execution, the house painter with a broken neck who defies all odds to walk again, a fellow nurse who is brutally beaten in his own apartment, an elderly Asian woman trying to bind herself into invisibility. In Condition Critical, Echo Heron shines a probing light on the myriad roles of the nurse: those extraordinary humans who are rich in the gifts of healing and the wisdom which flows through the heart—compassion.
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