An eye-opening resource illustrates one more facet of how race affects health care.

Discrimination Experienced in the Nursing Profession by Minority Nurses

A veteran nurse and educator compiles firsthand accounts of nurses who have faced racism in New York City hospitals.

In this debut collection of interviews, seasoned nurse and nursing teacher Semper pulls back the veil on the racism and discrimination in New York hospitals in the 21st century, giving a platform to 50 minority nurses to share their frustrations and battles with prejudice and intolerance within their field. These caregivers range in age, experience, and, especially, background, including but not limited to Latino, Indian, Asian, and African-American nurses as well as immigrant caretakers who have come to New York from as far away as Russia and Guyana. Despite these differences, each illustrates a consistent pattern of minority nurses being ignored or exploited, paid less than their white counterparts, and segregated to working only night shifts. Those wronged have few places to turn for aid, as most human resources officials are influenced by institutional racism or are unable to protect complainants from retaliation, while organizations like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are largely staffed by nonminority workers as well. It is clear some of those interviewed have given up hope, discouraging other minority nurses from pursuing their careers, but others, though not optimistic, offer pragmatic solutions, pushing for racial-awareness training, suggesting more on-the-job nurse advocates, and stressing the importance of education and effective mentors. Most striking in these accounts, besides the great bravery each nurse demonstrates in coming forward, is the near-identical hardships they describe. Furthermore, each clearly illustrates the impact these discriminatory environments have on patient care, with mental and emotional abuse leading to burnout or breakdown, decreasing the quality of treatment and forcing much-needed skilled workers out of the field. Individually the essays are rather abrupt, and while this makes them no less believable, the heartbreaking similarities across all 50 stories are largely what tie these diverse voices together. Some broader statistical information would have been welcome, but even without it, the final product is more than just a collection of grievances. It’s a cacophonous call to action.

An eye-opening resource illustrates one more facet of how race affects health care.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4917-9751-8

Page Count: 126

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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It's being called a novel, but it is more a hybrid: short-stories/essays/confessions about the Vietnam War—the subject that O'Brien reasonably comes back to with every book. Some of these stories/memoirs are very good in their starkness and factualness: the title piece, about what a foot soldier actually has on him (weights included) at any given time, lends a palpability that makes the emotional freight (fear, horror, guilt) correspond superbly. Maybe the most moving piece here is "On The Rainy River," about a draftee's ambivalence about going, and how he decided to go: "I would go to war—I would kill and maybe die—because I was embarrassed not to." But so much else is so structurally coy that real effects are muted and disadvantaged: O'Brien is writing a book more about earnestness than about war, and the peekaboos of this isn't really me but of course it truly is serve no true purpose. They make this an annoyingly arty book, hiding more than not behind Hemingwayesque time-signatures and puerile repetitions about war (and memory and everything else, for that matter) being hell and heaven both. A disappointment.

Pub Date: March 28, 1990

ISBN: 0618706410

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1990

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Visionary speculative stories that will change the way readers see themselves and the world around them: This book delivers...

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Exploring humankind's place in the universe and the nature of humanity, many of the stories in this stellar collection focus on how technological advances can impact humanity’s evolutionary journey.

Chiang's (Stories of Your Life and Others, 2002) second collection begins with an instant classic, “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” which won Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novelette in 2008. A time-travel fantasy set largely in ancient Baghdad, the story follows fabric merchant Fuwaad ibn Abbas after he meets an alchemist who has crafted what is essentially a time portal. After hearing life-changing stories about others who have used the portal, he decides to go back in time to try to right a terrible wrong—and realizes, too late, that nothing can erase the past. Other standout selections include “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” a story about a software tester who, over the course of a decade, struggles to keep a sentient digital entity alive; “The Great Silence,” which brilliantly questions the theory that humankind is the only intelligent race in the universe; and “Dacey’s Patent Automatic Nanny,” which chronicles the consequences of machines raising human children. But arguably the most profound story is "Exhalation" (which won the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Short Story), a heart-rending message and warning from a scientist of a highly advanced, but now extinct, race of mechanical beings from another universe. Although the being theorizes that all life will die when the universes reach “equilibrium,” its parting advice will resonate with everyone: “Contemplate the marvel that is existence, and rejoice that you are able to do so.”

Visionary speculative stories that will change the way readers see themselves and the world around them: This book delivers in a big way.

Pub Date: May 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-101-94788-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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