6 Books Travel Nurses Should Add to Their Reading List This Year
If you’re an avid reader, it’s likely you’re already through a book or two this year, with a mounting list of must-reads growing steadily in the wings. Whether you like fiction or non-fiction, fantasy or history, there’s always a good book out there you still haven’t read. For travel nurses, we’ve put together a list of six you may or may not be familiar with. These books are all acclaimed and highly recommended, specifically for those in the healthcare field. If you’re itching for your next great read, give one of these a try.
Benefits of reading everyday
Reading is shown to reduce stress, improve our focus and concentration, and improve our communication skills — all of which are major benefits in the healthcare industry. Not only is reading an inexpensive and uniquely portable hobby, it’s educational. You don’t have to hit the textbooks to benefit, either. Fiction is just as good!
Did you know that reading increases our empathy? When you read widely, you’re exposing yourself to different viewpoints, cultures, and experiences. This can help when trying to relate to a difficult patient (or their families). As a travel nurse, this can especially come in handy when you’re assigned to an unfamiliar part of the country.
Add these books to your reading list
There are plenty of books out there to indulge in for a great read. Here are a few that distinctly benefit healthcare practitioners, and travel nurses in particular.
- Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. This book discusses how medicine can improve life, and how we approach death. It’s a short read with a powerful message, and it’s one of many by an author who is widely respected in the medical field for his pragmatic approach to patient care.
- Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, by James Doty, MD. Follow the story of a neurosurgeon as he discovers how meditation and “opening the heart” have a profound effect on his life — and career.
- Bedlam Among the Bedpans by Amy Y. Young. As the saying goes, the truth is often stranger than fiction — and that’s often very true in nursing. If you love hearing and sharing stories about the real side of nursing, you’ll love this humorous take on the weird, wild, and all-too-relatable situations real nurses share.
- Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again by Eric Topol. Topol suggests that the main reason the healthcare system is so impersonal is because doctors are too overwhelmed to offer a human touch. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), he argues that we can make the medical profession a more caring one.
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Now a major motion picture, learn about how the medical profession took the cells of a Southern black woman and used them to further medical advances without ever getting her consent. It’s a powerful lesson on ethics, patient dignity, and seeing patients as people, not their condition.
- The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol. In this volume, Topol describes how modern technology is empowering patients — and why that’s a good thing. It’s the second book from Topol on this list; an author looking clearly at the future of medicine.
We love these books because they not only give us insight into the medical profession, but they remind us why it’s so important to practice compassionate patient care and maintain a positive caregiving mindset.
It’s easy to get caught up in stress and everyday frustrations — remembering why we chose (and love) this profession goes a long way toward handling unique nursing challenges. No matter where your next assignment takes you, reading will help you be a better nurse.