This true-to-life journal encompasses two years in the author’s early nursing career spent working side by side with physicians-in-training as part of their residency program in Women’s Health. The setting is a high-risk obstetrics unit at a large metropolitan hospital serving the city’s poor and immigrant women and their infants. Doctors and nurses are described responding to an array of emergencies and a crushing workload in this labor-intensive setting. The medical situations are eye openers—the interpersonal dynamics even more so. There are plenty of ethical dilemmas to traverse for the staff, and a measure of humor to leaven the stark circumstances. The work also describes the personal journey of the author as she morphs from a shy and insecure new nurse to a strong and confident caregiver able to act on behalf of patients who were in a highly vulnerable position.

This true-to-life journal encompasses two years in the author’s early nursing career spent working side by side with physicians-in-training as part of their residency program in Women’s Health. The setting is a high-risk obstetrics unit at a large metropolitan hospital serving the city’s poor and immigrant women and their infants. Doctors and nurses are described responding to an array of emergencies and a crushing workload in this labor-intensive setting. The medical situations are eye openers—the interpersonal dynamics even more so. There are plenty of ethical dilemmas to traverse for the staff, and a measure of humor to leaven the stark circumstances. The work also describes the personal journey of the author as she morphs from a shy and insecure new nurse to a strong and confident caregiver able to act on behalf of patients who were in a highly vulnerable position.