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Day: September 21, 2015

“The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives” by Theresa Brown, RN

The-Shift

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’ Lives” by Theresa Brown, RN

c.2015, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
$24.95 / $33.95 Canada
272 pages

BOOK REVIEW
by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

Nobody likes being poked.

Nobody woke up this morning and said, “Cut into me and make me hurt for a month.” No one asks for misery, nausea, aching pain, bedpans, stitches, needles, or risk. But there it is: it happens. And if it does, after reading “The Shift” by Theresa Brown, RN, you’ll know exactly who you want by your side.

It’s often dark when Theresa Brown leaves her Pittsburgh-area home to bike to work, using her commute to clear her head in advance, to think about her family, and to prepare herself for the twelve hours ahead. She’s an oncology nurse who will most certainly face a full load of four sick patients at the hospital for which she works, and that preparation is essential.

Her workday starts at 7 a.m. when she learns that, on this particular morning, she’s been assigned an empty bed and is first in line to receive any new admits. With that in mind, she collects information about her days’ patients, taking notes, understanding that no detail is unimportant.

One patient had recently arrived at the hospital in the middle of the night, with abdominal pain and blood issues. Another was going home soon, six weeks post-chemo, with a stronger immune system. A third, an elderly man who seemed to be near death, was prescribed medication that might prove too strong for him; that it could kill him was a foremost concern. Brown’s final patient, a Johnny-come-lately last-minute admission, came with a reputation for being demanding and unnecessarily controlling – reactions, Brown sensed, to the woman’s fear.

For Brown, and for many nurses, mealtime, if they get one, lasts mere minutes. Bathroom breaks are sometimes nonexistent. Twenty percent of all nurses don’t make it past their first year; it’s a hard job, complete with a cacophony of phones and beeps; lights, charts, urgency, personality clashes, body fluids, and death.

“This is nurse’s work,” says Brown. It’s what happens until “Another nurse, another good-hearted overworked soul in white” takes over for the next shift.

No doubt, you’ve recently heard the howl of national support for nurses from every corner. No doubt, especially after you’ve read “The Shift,” you’ll know it’s justified.

Just reading about the pressure-filled day that author Theresa Brown, RN describes made me awe-struck: the thousand things to remember (many of them, literally, life-or-death matters), the emotions (hers and her patients’) and maintaining a delicate harmony in doctor-nurse relationships while doing her job in the midst of hospital cut-backs, fiscal scrutiny, changing rules, and other frustrations.

I’m addled just typing that. Thankfully, Brown balances any negatives with moments of levity and a firm sense of control, which is obviously as soothing to patients as it is to readers.

I absolutely couldn’t get enough of this book. I raced through it, knowing that it would be satisfying but that the ending might not be rosy. If you’ve ever been a patient, I think you’ll like it too, so look for it. Missing “The Shift” would be a bitter pill to swallow.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.

Agenda for Keizer City Council meeting

KEIZERTIMES/File photo
KEIZERTIMES/File photo

CITY OF KEIZER MISSION STATEMENT

KEEP CITY GOVERNMENT COSTS AND SERVICES TO A MINIMUM BY PROVIDING CITY SERVICES TO THE COMMUNITY IN A COORDINATED, EFFICIENT, AND LEAST COST FASHION

AGENDA

KEIZER CITY COUNCIL

REGULAR SESSION

Monday, September 21, 2015

7:00 p.m.

Robert L. Simon Council Chambers

Keizer, Oregon

1. CALL TO ORDER

2. ROLL CALL

3. FLAG SALUTE

4. SPECIAL ORDERS OF BUSINESS

5. COMMITTEE REPORTS

6. PUBLIC TESTIMONY

This time is provided for citizens to address the Council on any matters other than those on the agenda scheduled for public hearing.

7. PUBLIC HEARINGS

a. Comprehensive Plan/Zone Change/Lot Line Adjustment/Subdivision – Appeal of Hearing Officer Decision – Property at 5447 and 5457 Burbank Street N, Keizer, Oregon

b. Application of KS REIM, LLC for Reimbursement District Formation

c. ORDINANCE – Amending Keizer Development Code Section 1.200 (Definitions); Amending Ordinance No. 98-389; Declaring an Emergency

8. ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION

a. RESOLUTION – Authorizing the City Manager and Public Works Director to Sign 2015-2018 Collective Bargaining Agreement with Laborers International Union of North America, Local 320

9. CONSENT CALENDAR

a. RESOLUTION – Authorizing the City Manager to Enter Into Lease Agreement with Ricoh USA Inc. for Utility Billing and Primary City Copier

10.COUNCIL LIAISON REPORTS

11.OTHER BUSINESS

This time is provided to allow the Mayor, City Council members, or staff an opportunity to bring new or old matters before the Council that are not on tonight’s agenda.

12.WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS

To inform the Council of significant written communications.

13.AGENDA INPUT

October 5, 2015

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

October 12, 2015

5:45 p.m. – City Council Work Session

Salem-Keizer Transit District

October 19, 2015

7:00 p.m. – City Council Regular Session

14.ADJOURNMENT

Upon request, auxiliary aids and/or special services will be provided. To request services, please contact us at (503)390-3700 or through Oregon Relay at 1-800-735-2900 at least two working days (48 hours) in advance.

Schrader talks transportation

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader
U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

Long-term plans call for improvements to the Interstate 5/Chemawa Road interchange in Keizer.

A model of how to do it may be barely 10 miles to the north.

U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Canby) was among the dignitaries on hand for the ribbon cutting of the Woodburn Interchange and Transit Facility project on Monday morning.

That afternoon, Schrader visited with the Keizertimes editorial board to talk about transportation, among other topics.

“At the state and the federal level we need to get our act together for transportation funding, something states can count on for funding,” Schrader said. “We need to be competitive globally. The surface transportation package is one of the big ones.”

Schrader said getting votes to support large transportation projects in Washington, D.C. is getting more and more difficult.

“We have the mantra these days that all spending is bad,” Schrader said. “It’s capital funding versus operational funding. I agree with the Republicans about the operational funding. But one of the arguments that gets brought up is the bridge to nowhere. Well, a bridge to nowhere would not exist under the current rules.”

Schrader was impressed with what he saw in Woodburn.

“The Woodburn interchange is vastly improved,” he said. “Truck after truck was going by (on Highway 219) I was shocked by the number of trucks on cross streets.  Not only is I-5 smoother, but it will still move as well. That makes Oregon a much more competitive state for trade. Oregon is the seventh biggest state for trade. It’s so important.”

While there has been off-and-on conversation about future interstate interchange needs in Keizer, there has been plenty of talk about a third bridge in Salem.

Schrader was also impressed with the process used in Woodburn, where the project has been worked on since the 1980s.

“The project was done a year early and close to on budget with the state kicking in a bunch of money and Woodburn putting in a bunch of money,” Schrader said. “This is the way to sell it back east, that the feds are putting in less money. It’s a good statement about good use of state dollars. (State) Sen. Peter Courtney was there and said you won’t have the feds spending 80 percent of the money for this type of project anymore.”

The Woodburn project includes new loop ramps, rebuilt on- and off-ramps, a new and wider bridge over I-5, added lanes on the side roads, a new transit facility, new sidewalks and bicycle lanes, plus numerous aesthetic enhancements.