Important New Book Where Night Is Day: The World of the ICU

I should have written about this months ago and apologize for not having done so.  But I was privileged to edit James Kelly’s new book Where Night Is Day: The World of the ICU for my series at Cornell University Press. 

Jim is an ICU nurse in New Mexico and he decided to write a book about his experiences.  His book is a moving account of what it means to be a nurse today.  It is really important for those who are interested in the state of play in interprofessional education.  As you will see when you read this book, there is little interaction — albeit a lot of action — between physicians and nurses who function — as I have described them — as intimate strangers engaged in parellel play at the bedside.  For anyone interested in nursing, the future of health care or IPE, this book is a must read.  That’s why the following reviewers explain:

“James Kelly’s ICU is a relentless and claustrophobic space where all the stories begin in the middle and only some have endings. His book is an exhilarating and humbling depiction of nursing in the twenty-first century.”—Arthur W. Frank, author of The Wounded Storyteller: Body, Illness, and Ethics and Letting Stories Breathe: A Socio-Narratology

“James Kelly provides an exceptionally thoughtful narrative of the modern intensive care unit.  He characterizes the rhythms of the ICU and captures odd juxtapositions of the deeply emotional and highly technical, while he explores the complex history and unspoken social hierarchy of American hospitals. Through the experience of caring for critically ill patients and their families, he ultimately delivers a moving meditation on life and death.”—Peter Clardy, MD, Director, Medical Intensive Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School


Where Night Is Day will be of interest to doctors, nurses, medical and nursing students, patients, and those interested in the organization of health care delivery. This excellent and compelling book marries theory to observation. James Kelly has created an intriguing presentation of social science thought about the health professions and illness, the socialization process of medical and nursing students, a clinical ethnographic study of life in an ICU, and an auto-ethnography.”—Brian Hodges, MD, PhD, FRCPC, University of Toronto, coeditor of The Question of Competence: Reconsidering Medical Education in the Twenty-First Century

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