The Heart's Truth
Essays on the Art of Nursing
The Kent State University Press
“Cortney Davis has an uncanny ability to give voice to the profound act of everyday nursing and its power in transforming the lives of people. Somehow, she sees the shadows and ghosts that fill our bodies and souls and makes sense of them, showing us that the divide between patient and provider is an artificial one that can get in the way of true understanding. The Heart’s Truth reminds us of the power of reflection and narrative and challenges us to reclaim these ways of knowing in the interest of healing our patients—and ourselves.”—Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Nursing
What is it like to be a student nurse washing the feet of a dying patient? To be a newly graduated nurse, in charge of the Intensive Care Unit for the first time, who wonders if her mistake might have cost a life? Or to be an experienced nurse who, by her presence and care, holds a patient to this world? Poet and nurse practitioner Cortney Davis answers these questions by examining her own experiences and through them reveals a glimpse into the minds and hearts of those who care for us when we are at our most vulnerable. The Heart’s Truth offers the joys, frustrations, fears, and miraculous moments that nurses, new and experienced, face every day.
In these finely wrought essays, Davis traces her twin paths, nursing and writing, inviting readers to share what she discovers along the way—lessons not only about the human body but also about the human soul. Rich, intimate, and never shrinking from the realities of illness, the grace of healing, or the wonder of words, The Heart’s Truth will inspire student caregivers, intrigue readers, and affirm those who have long worked in nursing, a profession that Davis calls “odd, mysterious, humbling, addicting, and often transcendent.”