304 pages ~ ★★★★☆ ~ Netgalley eARC
Can You Hear Me? is a new medical memoir written under the pseudonym Jake Jones of the experiences of a UK NHS ambulance paramedic. Each of the twenty-seven chapter covers a memorable encounter Jake experienced, sometimes as part of an ambulance team but also as a first response driver where sometimes he’s facing difficult decisions and conflicting priorities solo.
There’s quite a mix of stories in this, some were slightly strange; someone refusing to move piles of papers to allow the ambulance crew access. Some sounded almost unbelievable, a man who had a heart attack while driving in front of a policecar and some which were just heartbreaking. Obviously, because a paramedic is not always involved in a patient’s complete journey, just do whatever they can and getting them to hospital so several of these encounters are left with cliffhangers and just Jake’s best guess of what may have happened.
When I started reading this I expected there to be several chapters on the annoyance of non-urgent 999 calls however I was struck by how non-judgmental and patient Jake and his colleagues seemed to remain even when I was getting slightly annoyed reading it.
I found it this to be really enjoyable, there’s not too much medical jargon or acronyms to get your head around and each chapter is short enough to keep you wanting the next one so I got through this quite quickly. The incidents range from critical resuscitations to talking calming to people with mental health difficulties and it was a fascinating insight into the wide range calls paramedics have to always be ready to deal with.
With this being written under a pseudonym its missing the personal aspect that I’ve seen in other books of this style, I do like hearing about how working for the NHS has impacted people’s lives but obviously, the author is trying not to give too much away.
This book served as yet another reminder of how lucky I am to live in a country where I can pick up the phone dial 999 and somebody like Jake will be dispatched and do whatever they can to help.
There seem to be a lot of medically themed memoirs coming out at the moment and personally, I really enjoy them, this is another that I’ll be buying my husband once he’s worked his way through his Christmas books.
Can You Hear Me? is due for UK release today, 6th February, do you enjoy medical memoirs? Do you have any recommendations I should be looking into?
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy this in exchange for an honest review.