To Err is Common
by Margot Terrence
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Prisyon Publishing (November 21, 2011)
Reviewed by Molly Remer, Talk Birth
Written by a hospital Risk Manager, To Err is Common is a “truvel” that explores the ins and outs in the lives of the nurses at a large hospital and the various mistakes and medically negligent events that occur therein. Deemed a “truvel” because it is a novelization of true events, To Err is Common brings to startling and distressing life the reality that almost 200,000 patients die in American hospitals every year due to medical mistakes and hospital-acquired infections.
While overall a compelling narrative, the dialogue is somewhat stilted and feels wooden in its delivery and the characters do not feel particularly well-developed.
While the truvel definitely has a moral about the laziness or apathy of some medical care practitioners, there is also a recognition of the human nature of mistakes. While some mistakes are due to negligence and involve unethical cover-ups, many are simply “honest” accidents with profoundly awful consequences.
To Err is Common confirmed some of my fears, perceptions, and lack of trust in the decision-making capacities, skills, and motivations of many in the medical profession. It is interesting and valuable reading for nursing school students or for anyone interested in process and practice of medical care.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.