The Bell Lap: Stories for Compassionate Nursing Care

Book review by Marjorie Ghisoni.

Book review by Marjorie Ghisoni.

The Bell Lap

This book offers short stories that give an insight into the lives of older people who feel vulnerable when what was once ‘normal’ for them gradually or suddenly changes. 

The author shows us how it is possible to recognise vulnerability in others. The need to respond to these situations is shown by the ‘small acts’ that are so often described by patients as features of compassionate nursing care. 

Diverse settings

Each story offers an insight into an aspect of a person’s life. The diverse settings in the stories serve to remind us that it we should act with compassion at all times, not only when someone is ill or dying. 

The writing style is accessible and would appeal to healthcare professionals as a way of understanding human vulnerability in an increasingly complex health environment. 

Ultimately, this book emphasises the need to listen to patients’ and carers’ stories, and to draw on their narratives when responding compassionately to their needs. 

Reviewed by Marjorie Ghisoni, lecturer in mental health nursing, Bangor University, Gwynedd

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