If you’re looking for escapist bedtime reading to take your mind off working on the front lines of nursing since that fateful January, Year Of The Nurse: A 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic Memoir is unlikely to be the balm you’re looking for--but it expresses a reality many nurses will identify with.
“I came out of 2020 and early 2021 profoundly angry and forever changed,” author Cassandra Alexander writes on her website. “Year of the Nurse is my effort to get back to ground-zero again, a book both my therapist and my friends suggested I write, collated out of my journals, emails, tweets, and thoughts from last year, in an effort to acknowledge what I — and millions of other nurses — went through, to try to find some peace and rest.”
There is definitely a dose of gallows humor but the anger and frustration comes through in spades (along with a clear sense of empathy for patients and colleagues). Alexander, who also writes paranormal romance novels known as The Dark Ink Tattoo Series as Cassie Alexander, began working in burns treatment, so she recognizes the feeling of isolation COVID patients experience today.
In a candid, emotional conversation with Regis College Assistant Professor Lawana Brown, Alexander acknowledges her bouts with depression and PTSD and how therapy and writing helped her manage the toughest times.