Brown T. HarperOne; 2011. Paperback; 224 pages.

I will never forget my first patient death. Your first “Condition A,” as Theresa Brown refers to a code blue in Critical Care, is something that stays with you; the look on the patient’s face, the concern in the wife’s voice, and the paralyzing fear that came over me as I paced around the room, constantly looking at the monitor. I was just a baby nurse and had been shielded from the harsh reality of death until that day. The certainty of the ugly side of nursing screamed at me. At that moment, I questioned everything. Tears rolled down my face as they pronounced the patient dead, and I could not bear to look at the patient’s wife. Thirty-four years of marriage ended right there. Brown writes,

“Calling the code was the easy part; living with...

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