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July 28, 2008

On The Nightstand - Sarah Manguso's The Two Kinds of Decay

This past semester in PT school, the students were assigned to a clinical internship one day a week for six weeks. Depending upon the clinic, the student were assigned to a variety of settings, from in-patient rehab to nursing homes to skilled nursing acute care.

I was assigned to an acute care environment and made rounds with the attending physical therapists to the intensive care units to work with patients. It was fascinating to be exposed to different conditions and witness the role that physical therapy plays in helping these patients recover. Of course, for HIPAA privacy reasons, I cannot go into detail about these cases.

But I have learned a little bit about hospitals and some of the procedures that are performed on patients. It was during this time that my husband told me about a book by a woman with a chronic form of Guillian-Barre called The Two Kinds of Decay: A Memoir. In it, Sarah Manguso recounts her experience from memory, giving insight to a patient's experience with a chronic illness.

The book is astonishingly quick to read, a godsend for someone in graduate school. With enough heart, insight and intellect to distract me for a while, this book is a must-read for anyone in medical care or considering a career in health care. From a patient's perspective, it strips to the soul what qualities are important in a health care worker. Listen to your patient.

Learn more about chronic idiopathic demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy.

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Posted by linda at July 28, 2008 12:46 PM

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