I’m nearly over a week-long bout with the flu, but my brain is still not out of the cold medicine fog. Though lying in bed afforded me time to catch up on a lot of reading, I learned that I should refrain from blogging while doped-up. This is actually the second version of my April book review. The highly-medicated first version read like a toddler trying to describe a M. Night Shyamalan plot twist. So here we go with the book review, a week later, sans NyQuil.
My recommended read for April is Moments in the Death of a Flesh Mechanic … a healer’s rebirth by Russ Reina. Once you get past the distasteful imagery of an EMS professional being labeled a “flesh mechanic,” you’re in for an incredible read. Reina offers his readers much more than simple street gore implied in the title. He is a genuinely talented writer with the ability to display all the thoughts, movements, and emotions of EMS in simple, yet powerful, passages. Here is one of my favorites;
“I was eyes, ears, and hands and just a feeling in the center of my chest of pure internal silence. Suspended in time and moving in a vacuum, I didn’t have a name or a job; I was movement choreographed by something much greater than myself.”
Reina explores the emotions we encounter as EMS professionals more thoroughly than most writers, and encourages his readers to do the same. He asserts that to become true healers for our patients and our peers, we must be willing to embrace our own humanity. Otherwise, we become cold, protocol-driven flesh mechanics. This compelling work is a must-read for any provider who has ever wondered why getting over “the bad ones” became easier with time.
You can pick up your own copy of the book at Reina’s website, RussReina.com. Greg Friese also did a great interview with Reina about the book, which you can find posted over at Medical Author Chat. Last, but not least, Reina is still writing about EMS over at the EMS Outside Agitator blog.