My EMS Book Review for November is another great offering from The Social Medic in You Called 9-1-1 For What? by Dave Konig.
True to Social Medic form, he’s published this gem solely in e-book format. Not only does this give the reader universal accessibility when using the free Kindle Cloud Reader, but it also offers the dynamic content of hyperlinks to some of these hilarious 9-1-1 calls.
Many of the calls are related to law enforcement, with a few medical issues thrown in for good measure. Reading about these asinine requests made of law enforcement made me thankful for my career choice of EMS. Selfishly, I wanted to read mostly about Fire & EMS “emergency” calls, but that may be something he’s saving for Part 2.
This humorous compilation is the perfect companion for your next posting assignment on the corner of Boring St. and My Back’s Killing Me Ave. The icing on this sweet offering is that it’s only a buck on Amazon. OMG, BBQ!
My EMS Book Review for October is The Official Guide to Blogging for EMS by Dave Konig. Although the title implies it being a “guide,” this book is in a class of its own in an industry steeped in guides and manuals.
Not everyone in EMS has their own blog, and that’s okay. Even if a provider doesn’t write for the masses, he or she can still benefit from this book. We all read EMS literature in some form, and this book helps sets standards for what is “good” or “not so good” in our reading diet.
Konig is a New York City based EMS provider working in the field since 1994. He has worked in the private sector, as a 911 provider, and as a volunteer. Additionally, he has been heavily involved in all aspects of social media since 2005. He is currently the founder and administrator of the well-known EMS Blogs Network. When it comes to EMS blogging, he is THE subject matter expert.
I enjoyed this book because it is both authoritative and immediately useful. Konig not only writes with the authority of a blog network administrator, but he also offers specific examples (with links) for each topic he discusses. Being immediately useful is also an essential attribute for any EMS “guide.” EMS folks don’t have time to meditate on complex pathophysiology theories while managing emergencies, so throughout the book Konig goes straight to the point for new (or experienced) EMS bloggers looking to improve.
Every EMS provider has a voice and shares part of the responsibility for moving us ahead as a profession. If you’ve ever thought that your voice and ideas could help the next person down the line, maybe this is the year you give EMS blogging a try. Pick up Konig’s book and get to it!
Have you ever seen the ads in EMS and Fire magazines telling readers about employment opportunities overseas? Years ago when I was a young, single paramedic, I gave some thought to what it would be like to work in another country. Sure, the culture would be different, but medicine is medicine. Right?
In the book Paramedic to the Prince by Patrick (Tom) Notestine, we learn that isn’t always true. In Saudi Arabia, medical school and physician jobs are reserved for those with wassta (connections and influence). Diagnosis and prognosis are not conversation topics to be had with patients, either. Instead, providers should tell patients that they will get better, Inshallah (God willing). These are just a few of the many differences Notestine encountered during his work in Saudi Arabia.
Notestine’s literary work stands out among other books by EMS authors. Not only is it well written, but it offers a detailed account of how even the most basic patient care changes from one culture to another. I recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their medical knowledge or experience.
My EMS Book Review for August is Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry. From the title alone, readers will recognize this as a commentary on rural EMS. It’s a sharp contrast from many books in the EMS genre that are borne out of inner-city “knife and gun club” response areas.
Perry is a skilled writer with the ability to pull readers into the action of a call, but his book goes beyond the sirens and wrecks. He takes seriously the idea of “meeting your neighbors” implied in the subtitle. His reflections are more than observations of patients and providers. It is a commentary on community; the people, the places, and most importantly the relationships.
I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of their involvement in EMS or Fire. Perry also shares his thoughts with readers in a great interview on Medical Author Chat. When you head out to grab your own copy, make sure to buy two. You’ll want to share this one with your friends!
“Don’t judge a book by its movie,” is a 21st century twist on a timeless kernel of wisdom. I believe this holds true for the book Ambulance Girl: How I Saved Myself By Becoming an EMT by Jane Stern. It’s a very well-written book that later became a straight-to-DVD movie. Though the movie only appealed to a small audience, the book is a great read.
Stern takes readers through her own journey of personal lows and professional highs. She starts the story at a very low point in her life when she was gripped by clinical depression, but decided she would force herself to get out and become an EMT.
I found the first part of her story ironic. Here was a person with severe depression and access to a physician willing to write her scripts for plenty of medication. Sound like a recipe for disaster? I thought so, too. I’ve transported my share of overdoses with the same story line. Through uncommon perseverance though, she became the provider working in an ambulance instead of the patient riding in an ambulance.
Her struggle with EMT class was the first hurdle to overcome.
“I am having a problem my shrink tells me is often experienced by first-year medical students. I have every symptom of every disease Frank mentions in the classroom. I am no longer clinically depressed but instead am dying of everything simultaneously.”
Stern’s honesty and humor are endearing throughout the book. However, readers interested in the action of EMS or the clinical/social implications of our work may not be thrilled with this book. Stern becomes pretty vulnerable with her readers at times, and some may see it as whining. However, I would still recommend it for all FTO’s and EMS Managers. Stern paints a picture of someone coming into EMS to vicariously heal herself by healing others. Regardless of a manager’s view on people who enter EMS this way, the book will offer insight on employees who may be fighting these same battles just below the surface.