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More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea Kindle Edition
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This book has no plot, no named characters, no chronology, but what it does have is a realism that can only be achieved by someone who is living these events each and every day of his career. The incidents related here are from the blog Tom Reynolds writes concerning his job with the ambulance service in a section of east London. On my Kindle this book is divided into 211 chapters with each "chapter" being devoted to a single entry of his blog. Each one is very short. They range all the way from the truly frivolous calls to those where he and his mates are unable to save the patient's life. Along the way he sometimes indulges in a little fanciful, playful writing about his job and he also vents his spleen about how the government is running the National Health Service. Also included is a lexicon of terms and abbreviations which will help the reader keep track of the various organizations and functions of the London Ambulance Service and a short note about the author, including his real name.
This is the second book utilizing information from Reynolds' blog. The first was Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance which is also available in book or Kindle form. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to see real life situations on a daily basis through the eyes of someone who is there and keeps going back.
A kind mixture of cynicsm, drama, caring and reality make this book a wonderfully accurate reflection of the trials and tribulations faced by emergency providers every day.
The chapters are bite sized chunks that make it easy to set the book down and then pick up right where you left off.
If you're worried about blood and gore, don't let that stop you from getting this one. There's not much of that kind of thing. Plenty of human observation and Tom's observations are spot-on.
Okay, quit reading my silly review and go download the book, you'll be glad you did!
There are things to be gleaned from the book:
You learn that a blanket is the most important tool in an ambulance.
You learn that, like on the show COPS, alcohol creates a lot of trouble.
You learn that Britain's NHS is seriously overburdened. Reynolds discusses hospitals filled to capacity, ambulance services that make people wait for over an hour (not always but it does happen), hospitals without basic supplies like pillows and blankets, a boy with a history of collapsing waiting for weeks for an MRI scan (I have had two on an emergency basis in the last 3 years for one I had to wait 15 minutes and for the other I had to wait 45 minutes).
You also learn that some people are just nasty. Here's a quote from Reynolds. He is calling his dispatcher: " ' Control, I need to return to station to clean out the back of our motor - we've just transported one of our 'local legends'. Is there any infection control policy for patients who are infested with insects?'
Gritty, disconnected, worth the read.
The result? Imagine having a friend who works on an ambulance. Imagine that friend is on facebook and posts every mundane detail of his job, as well as the occasional interesting tidbit, while including a little humor from time to time - nothing incredibly witty but just enough to keep it from being too monotonous. He does this every day. If you enjoy this kind of thing, you'll probably enjoy the book. If you just don't get it, you'll probably be bored to tears before reaching the 25% mark.
I gave it three stars because it's not really good or bad. It is what it claims to be: typical blog-style musings of a medic. If nothing else, it is an accurate depiction of every day life as a medic.