Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers by Marianna Crane
“Marianna Crane writes with compassion and insight about what it’s like to serve on the front lines of the medical profession—treating the most vulnerable among us. Her vivid account is moving and enlightening, a valuable contribution to the literature of social justice.”
—Philip Gerard, Professor, Department of Creative Writing, University of North Carolina, and author of The Art of Creative Research
“Nurse practitioners are well known for their willingness to be primary care providers for the ‘underserved’—those people who are waking bundles of multiple chronic and acute illness and myriad ‘social determinants’ of poor housing, little income, and almost no family or friends to call a support system. Society prefers that such patients remain invisible, because acknowledging their existence is too unsettling. It is my fervent hope that Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic will find a wide audience of readers who are willing to meet and care about the people nurse practitioners allow into their lives every day.”
—Marie Lindsey, PhD, FNP, health care consultant and founding member and first president of the Illinois Society for Advanced Practice Nurse
Marianna Crane’s poignant and compelling stories opened my eyes to the daily health challenges low income elderly patients face and the struggles and small victories which nurse practitioners deal with. Crane's real life qualitative study provides the rich texture missing from the more quantitative studies of needy populations. With empathy, compassion and wit Crane makes an important contribution to the literature of a frail population. We, who research these folks, are indebted to the author for her insights and unvarnished truth.
—Peter J. Stein, Ph.D, University of North Carolina Institute on Aging Associate Director for Aging Workforce Initiatives-retired
Running a clinic for seniors requires a lot more than simply providing medical care. In Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic, Marianna Crane chases out scam artists and abusive adult children, plans a funeral, signs her own name to social security checks, and butts heads with her staff―two spirited older women who are more well-intentioned than professional―even as she deals with a difficult situation at home, where the tempestuous relationship with her own mother is deteriorating further than ever before.
Eventually, however, Crane maneuvers her mother out of her household and into an apartment of her own―but only after a power struggle and no small amount of guilt―and she finally begins to learn from her older staff and her patients how to juggle traditional health care with unconventional actions to meet the complex needs of a frail and underserved elderly population.
Marianna Crane has been a nurse for over forty years and, in the early 1980s, became one of the first gerontological nurse practitioners. She has worked in hospitals, clinics, home care, and hospice settings. She writes to educate the public about what nurses really do. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Eno River Literary Journal, Examined Life Journal, Hospital Drive, Stories That Need to be Told: A Tulip Tree Anthology, and Pulse: Voices from the Heart of Medicine. She lives with her husband in Raleigh.