1st August 2014, Volume 127 Number 1399

Ingrid Teresa Pryde. Published by Balboa Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-45251-239-6. Contains 304 pages. Price $19.99 (e-book $3.99).

The Dark Side of Nursing is a soft-covered book with 12 chapters including a reference section at the back. It is also available as an e-book. This book is written in an easy-to-read black text.

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Poems and parts of her personal account of bullying are in italics. The table of contents makes it easy to navigate the book as Pryde has broken each chapter into subsections.

Pryde gained her qualification as a registered nurse in Australia after immigrating with her family from India as a teenager (http://ingridpryde.wix.com/darksideofnursing).

While raising a family she obtained a masters degree in cardiac nursing. Pryde has worked in a variety of clinical settings, which has added to her tapestry of experiences. Bullying is a current topic. Whether in the home, at school or in the workplace there is often someone who believes they have the right to bully another person.

This background sets the scene in her book The Dark Side of Nursing. Pryde brings to light the fact that nursing is not immune from bullying either. In a profession that specialises in care, Pryde believes these very staff are often the ones guilty of the bullying.

This book is a mix of personal narrative with research and suggested strategies for dealing with bullying along with poems. The narrative is written in the third person and describes in detail how she was bullied and her coping strategies. Pryde’s personal experiences bring to light the issue of bullying although it appears to have clouded her view of the nursing profession as a whole.

In addition to the narrative, Pryde has included research on this topic particularly within the nursing arena. There is also discussion regarding legislation in other countries pertinent to this topic. This material intersperses the narrative and at times breaks the flow of reading which is distracting.

There are suggested ways to help cope with bullying and Pryde places an emphasis on role-playing. While this may work well in a training environment it is not something that an individual can utilise easily or independently. If the book had more practical strategies for both the bullied and bully this would be useful.

This is not a book that the reviewer would recommend as part of the workplace reference material or to be used in the educational field. It does, however, provide insight to the lived experience of a woman bullied which no-one can argue with.

This is a book that may be of interest to someone wanting to read a personal account of bullying. The reader does need to be aware that it is one person’s account.

Liane Dixon
Clinical Studies Research Nurse
Department of Academic Surgery
University of Otago – Christchurch
Christchurch, New Zealand