Review: The Language of Kindness

Posted on Mar 1 2019 - 12:53pm by Claire Herbaux

What a wonderful title for a book about nursing!

Life is about kind, and that’s the most important lesson Christie Watson has to teach us. Nurses are there – literally – from the moment we are born to the moment we die, and often for all the testing times in between. They are at the heart of life (and death). And Watson knows, she was a nurse for 20 years and worked in about every department you can think of, from mental health to surcery and PICU.

And in these 20 years, she spent a lot of time thinking about, and understanding, what it means to be a nurse. She takes us on a journey through the history of nursing and into the pressures medical professionals face today.

While it is a very well-researched novel with a lot of (terrifying) health statistics, I was most interested in the stories Watson told which showed her own experience as a nurse, and of becoming a nurse, but also the moments with her patients, when time seemed to stop.
THAT was the kindness I was expecting to see in the book, and the paragraphs of historical detours and facts woven into it were a distraction from what is at the heart of the book.

What will stick with me won’t be the percentage of children who are born with a disease or how much a medical practitioner makes an hour, but it will be Jasmin, and Cheryl, and Mahesh, and Tia. And Betty, who just needed someone to take the time to listen to her, and the person who finally did was a kind nurse, and it made all the difference.

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