So I was recently doing some work abroad and I stocked up on a few books before I left, with my Paramedic Course looming ever closer I thought I'd look around for any books that could give me a good insight into what I'm getting myself into. I ended up picking up "A Paramedics Diary - Life and Death On The Streets" by Stuart Gray.
Read on for how I found it!
First of all, the way that Stuart has chose to have his book laid out is very friendly, each chapter is around a certain patient demographic or emergency type - this gives you a steer for what you are in for just by reading the Chapter page. What we also have at certain points when a drug, buzzword or medical procedure is mentioned is a little caption box separate from the main text on the page telling you what it means which opens the book to a wide audience of both experts and novices to the world of pre-hospital medicine.
The actual accounts of events are pulled from Stuarts blog (linked at the bottom of this article) sprinkled in with some experiences not yet seen online. Reading them you'll find yourself frightened, laughing to yourself or reflecting on horrors difficult to imagine - usually all this happens within a few pages! Each Chapter seems to start quite light hearted or non-specific before delving into quite a vivid account of a job attended.
Of particular interest to me were Stuarts accounts of the 7/7 bombings and the aftermath, the horrors of that day are rekindled in graphic detail and the immediate aftermath also which sheds some light on how alert the Capital was for further incidents. There was also an eye opening account of a very traumatic Childbirth that I challenge any aspiring Paramedic to read without reflecting on your choice of future career if even for the briefest moments!
Overall this is an excellent read, a firefighter colleague of mine even read it afterwards and apart from raising his eyebrow at a little friendly inter-service banter that goes on on the book found it a very eye opening account at what Paramedics actually do. If you read this blog then you're considering a Career as a Paramedic - reading this book will certainly help you decide if it's for you or not more than any Careers website or wiki-page!
If you're interested in reading more of Stuarts work you can find his blog over at:
The Paramedics Diary