Friday, June 6, 2014

Welcome to Nursing HELLo by Joel Craig


Welcome to Nursing HELLo: a graphic memoir by Joel Craig

Review by Lauren

copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: What happens when all the jobs for movie star have been filled? The next best thing is to become a nurse and that is exactly what Joel Craig did. Follow this RN's rocky rise into nursing. If you are a nurse, nursing student, want to be a nurse or will be going into the hospital anytime soon, check out this story. Joel writes about the things that nurses think but never dare to say out loud.

Review: Joel Craig's graphic memoir was definitely an interesting look into the mind's of some nurses. While there are certainly many people in the medical field that entered because they genuinely want to help or its a passion, there are still plenty of others that found themselves there in other ways. Craig is one of the latter, as he really wanted to be an actor. However, that wasn't paying the bills and when his husband, Donovan, expressed interest in going to nursing school, Craig decided to follow along a semester behind.

This book seems like a collection of comics for zines placed together in one large format. This works for the most part, though I found a couple moments where the story repeated itself. Since the book is in the form of a graphic novel, it doesn't really slow things down, so it's easily overlooked.

Positives-

Throughout the book there are moments where Craig provides a page of just writing that allows you to get more into his thoughts. I thought this was a nice touch, especially since it's a memoir.

Craig shares some pretty interesting stories about being a nurse. There are the crazy patients, there are the doctors who don't have time for you, and the pharmacy that won't answer your calls. However, there are still plenty of positives like nurses that help each other out, genuine patients that appreciate your help, and seeing nurses grow and become better.

And finally, the artwork- this will go under both categories, but for positive, the drawing is simple and easy to view. It makes the book feel more real. It's as if anyone could share their story with simple drawings.



Not So Positives-

Craig has conversations throughout the book with "Madonna." I put her name in quotes because it's not actually her of course. While I wouldn't say it's a detriment to the story, it didn't add a ton besides allowing you to get into Craig's head even more. You could tell he was a fan of Madonna and their story paralleled this idea of learning to go for your dreams and finding the thing you love. So, again, it's not a bad aspect of the book but it wasn't my favorite part.

The book focuses on a lot of the bad about being a nurse. It's Craig story, so you know he's just being honest, and he does genuinely want to find a place in nursing that he likes best. However, some of the stories were a bit much and I wish I could have seen more positivity in the nursing field. Granted, I know nursing is difficult and it's not something I could ever handle, so kudos to Craig for getting through.

And back to the artwork - while there are positives to it, there are some not so positives. Since the drawing is so simple, it's not as captivating as other graphic novels. Everything is in black and white, and while Craig includes as much detail as he can, it's not entirely enough.

In the End- 

I read this book in one day and I do think it would be fascinating for those in the nursing field, but apart from that demographic, it might not connect to a lot of other readers. I'm glad to have had the chance to check it out though, and I liked getting to read about Craig's overall journey and how he kept art in his life at all costs.


I read this for the Graphic Novel Reading Challenge

25 comments:

Melliane said...

Hmmm I don't know, I'm not sure this one is for me. But it's nice to see you had a good time in a whole.

Keertana said...

I definitely don't think this is for me as I'm not a fan of graphic novels or of memoirs, but I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one. Fantastic review and very thorough breakdown!(:

Medeia Sharif said...

The drawings do look very simple, but it seems like an interesting read.

Tracy Terry said...

Sounds good, definitely one I'd buy for all my nursing friends.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Not sure if its for me, but it def does sound like a great peek into the minds of nurses even ones who got into the field for other reasons.

Liviania said...

I don't think I like the art.

Kindlemom said...

My sister is in nursing school right now, I wonder if she would like this one?

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Part of me thinks this would be funny, but then you say there is a lot of negativity so perhaps not. Still it looks interesting.

Cascia Talbert said...

I don't think I would enjoy this book either, but glad you liked it. Have a terrific weekend!

Lily B said...

hehe just the cover alone looks interesting!

Jess said...

Gah, as a nursing student I am sooo curious to read this! But I am also nervous that reading all those negatives will terrify me! D: Like you said, it would have been nice if he had included more positives about the field - there are soooo many positive things! This seems like a book that I would enjoy reading in barnes and noble on a rainy day, but not one I would actually purchase.

Tanja - Tanychy said...

This doesn't sound like something for me at all, but still it seems interesting. I hope that the book will find its readers :) Great review :)

Zoe N. said...

This sounds great, but you've read better graphic novels, so I think I'll stick to those instead. I think the black and white coloring would through me off as well, because, honestly, that makes it pretty bland.

Thanks for sharing Lauren, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! I love how you broke down your feelings about the book so thoroughly! :)

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Alexia561 said...

I don't usually read graphic novels so this one isn't for me, but sounds like it would make a great gift for any nurses you know! Enjoyed how you broke down your review to cover what did and didn't work for you. :)

The Bookish Manicurist said...

I can definitely believe there would be a lot of negatives to being a nurse, having been a vet nurse, I can only imagine being a nurse for humans is 10 x worse!

Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

Candace said...

This wouldn't be a book for me, but I do think the nursing stories are probably ones I could relate to. I worked in a nursing home for several years and the stories I could tell.... yikes.

Cleo Bannister said...

I don't have the right character for nursing but admire anyone who does this difficult job. A different take on the graphic novel genre!

http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I have dabbled a bit with Graphic n0vels...this looks interesting ;)

Rachel said...

I don't think I've heard of realistic audio-biography type story being told in a graphic novel format. I don't think I'd care for the Madonna convos either. This doesn't really seem like something I'd enjoy. Great review, Lauren! :)

Synchronized Reading said...

I've never read a book like this before, but it does sound pretty interesting. Great review :)

Janina @ Synchronized Reading

Angela's Anxious Life said...

My friend is a nurse... I think I might get him this book!

Andrea Thompson said...

Yeah, the "Madonna" thing probably wouldn't work for me either. I like that the illustrations are simpler, but agree that could be boring. I wonder what nurses would think of this one?

A Voracious Reader said...

It sounds interesting, but not my thing. I like my graphic novels to be a bit more...graphic. :)

Ginny Gallagher said...

My mom is a nurse and she would probably enjoy this. I tried to follow in her nursing footsteps and lasted all of 20 minutes in my "test" run. I have the weakest stomach in history so nursing was not a good fit at all. :) Kudos to all the great nurses out there!

kimbacaffeinate said...

My Mom and sister-in-law are nurses I bet they would enjoy these!