The Shift by Theresa Brown

Melanie Kaisen, Chrissy Eames and Mia Schlarbaum

Significant Historical Connection

An important historical connection could be the hierarchy in the feudal times. From the 10th-15th century there was a distinct separation of kings, peasants and everything in between. In "The Shift," doctors, interns and those in the middle are socially separated. Throughout the book Theresa Brown tries to disprove the theory that doctors are "better" than nurses.
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One significant theme

One major theme addressed in the book was the misconception that nurses don't do a lot of work. Brown describes all of the work that she has to do on a daily basis setting out to prove that nurses really do a lot of work. Most people think nurses have the easy job of just checking in on patients but really they do much more than that. Nurses have to make tough decisions and act fast in order to keep patients alive.

Another significant theme

Another important theme in the book is a hierarchy in the hospital. The way doctors look at nurses and the the way nurses look at the people who move the patients around the hospital isn't right. She wishes for everyone in the hospital to look at each other like human beings instead of following this hierarchy in the hospital. Brown wants people to no longer think of everyone in the hospital in certain rankings, she wants everyone to be seen equal.
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Theresa Brown: How Nurses Can Change the Image of Nursing

Two important quotes

"It strikes me that my behavior with the escorts is not that different from the attending's behavior toward me. Maybe that means the attending, like me, is just trying to do his job as best as he can. Or maybe it means we should all try a little harder to see each other as human beings."


" I spend the shift going from room to room, lifting patients, pushing carriers, moving beds, raising IV poles up and down. All that uses energy. If I don't eat, the tank gets low- simple physiology."