Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book #4

Ambulance Girl by Jane Stern

Jane Stern from NPR's Splendid Table, Jane and Micheal Stern - Rood Food and many other foodie books has written a book about becoming an EMT at age 52ish.

She actually really did this and worked/works (I don't know if she still does?) for the volunteer Fire Dept. in her small town in Connecticut.

I loved this book for many reasons. Not the least of which is that is it really pretty damn funny. Like laugh out loud, guffaws kind of funny. It also appealed to my deep seated adrenaline junky medical personality. As the saying goes... you can take the girl out of the ICU, but you can't take the ICU out of the girl. (or something like that) I could relate to many ,many things she wrote about, from the nurse's attitudes in the ED, to the frequent flyers, to the burn out. I found it interesting that she experienced burn out in a remarkably similar way to how I did. I have never had a poll about how burn out is manifested from person to person. I don't think I want to know. I have moments of.....well.....probably shame, that I got burned out. Well, enough about that.

The book takes you through her initial classroom training, then her real life training (when the learning really begins), through a rough bout of burn out and then her reaction to 9/11. The story takes place starting about 2 years pre-9/11.

Lots of good gross out factor and morbid humor that I suppose health care providers certainly have an affinity for. And a story about a gal working herself out of a mid-life crisis of sorts by realizing she is helping and healing herself by helping others.

Recommended if you are into reading about medical stuff. I don't know what you would think of it all if you didn't have any particular interest in emergency care.

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