I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

by edited by Lee Gutkind
Published by Tantor

2016 Audies Finalist, Best Nonfiction Audiobook

AudioFile Earphones Award

Tavia Gilbert’s narration of these essays written by nurses is beautiful and profound. Nurses are the often invisible backbone of the healthcare system. Gilbert delivers all the essays, irrespective of gender or ethnicity, capturing the spirit of each one. They reflect personal growth as well as social and scientific progress. The hysteria of AIDS once meant that nurses weren’t even allowed to enter the rooms of AIDS patients, and now an HIV-positive individual might die of old age. Gilbert translates all the emotions, including fear, gallows humor, gratitude, and empathy. A baby born with half a heart dies shortly after birth, but the nurse treats both the baby and the parents with compassion and dignity. A home care nurse is the only attendee at the funeral of a client without family—and Gilbert does a terrific grumpy old man, too. AudioFile Magazine