Friday, April 17, 2015

Duty Shoes, A Nurse’s Memoir

Camille Foshee and I were members of the same graduating class in our small town high school back in the day. She immediately entered a nurse training program and soon thereafter began her career as a nurse. I myself would find my way into nursing twenty years later as a midlife career change.  Naturally, it was with great interest that I read her book, Duty Shoes, A Nurses Memoir.  Camile Foshee-Mason has written an memorable account of her career in nursing that makes for very interesting reading and will illuminate for the reader the important role nurses play in the field of healthcare.

Think about the last time you went to see a doctor, you probably saw a nurse first. If you have ever been a patient in a hospital, you have experienced nursing care as central to your recovery in moving toward optimal health. Wherever you access the healthcare system, you will encounter a nurse. Did you ever wonder what that nurse’s training entails or what the life of a nurse is like? You can find out by reading Ms. Foshee-Mason’s memoir. The book is a great model for young nurses and nursing students to get an idea of what nursing is all about. It is also a wonderful way for others to see what nurses experience from day to day.

In Duty Shoes, you will follow a bright-eyed high school student as she begins to test the waters of a career in nursing and then takes the step into professional training.  The author then opens the reader’s eyes into the world of nurse training and practice as she details how her life unfolded into a rewarding career.  Her book provides us with a first-hand account of nursing experience through many avenues available in healthcare today, from community hospitals to home health care.

There is such vivid imagery in the writing that I could clearly visualize many scenes the author described. There was the doctor at work in the delivery room, the visits to rural homes as a home health nurse, the scene of the concerned nurse standing on the heli-pad watching her granddaughter being air-lifted to Children’s Hospital, and so many other vivid scenes.

Foshee-Mason’s memoir is important in a number of ways. I found it to be an excellent example of how there are many avenues open to nurses throughout their careers and it is also a snapshot of recent history in the field of nursing. Another important contribution is in the author’s recounting her experiences as she trained at a hospital-based diploma nurse program. With so much of nurse training moving to college campuses, hospital-based training is becoming rarer, yet it stands as an important beacon in the history of nursing. Moreover, diploma nursing programs have done so much to shape the role of the nurse in modern society.

Duty Shoes, A Nurses Memoir is a fascinating account that will be of interest to seasoned nurses as well as to nursing students or high school students contemplating a career in healthcare. Camille Foshee-Mason has, in fact, dedicated a portion of the proceeds from sales of her book toward scholarships for nursing students. Her memoir stands as a wonderful testament to the role of nurses and their value in the lives of so many today.

From the back cover of Duty Shoes


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