I was going to do Endsleigh thank yous today but then this book came steaming up the outside lane, blue light flashing (yeah,
bet they're late for their tea break. cardiac arrest probably)and everything else had to pull over.
I've been waiting a while to get my hands on Blood, Sweat and Tea by Tom Reynolds and published by The Friday Project because if there is one thing us nurses like reading occasionally it's an authentic but accessible take on some behind the scenes medical stuff.
I'm off Casualty on the TV at the moment (too much Strictly X Factor Dancing) but I'm a nightmare to watch it with when I do. I insist on utilising what I mistakenly believe is my vast medical knowledge which in reality translates into some very hit and miss diagnostic expertise. I've been a health visitor for nigh on 30 years remember, nappy rash and developmental milestones my speciality, don't often do open heart surgery, but like to think I haven't forgotten it all.
Anyway Casualty is great for some revision practice, I declare outcomes on any impending and inevitable medical crisis the minute I spot a sign and in true health visitor fashion I spot them early, yes, weeks beforehand.
"Ah yes, there you go, his mother's just put some sweets in his bag, he's diabetic, precautionary sugar in case of hypoglycaemic attack, just you watch"
"Did you see the way he purposefully picked up that Bic biro and put it in his pocket? Bet someone needs an emergency tracheostomy in the street and he'll use that and a swiss army knife, mark my words"
Blood, Sweat and Tea started life as the blog of an Emergency Medical Technician with the London Ambulance Service and now it's a book and it makes great reading.Tom takes no prisoners so ensure your breakfast has really gone down before you start reading it.
In fact let's all revise shall we, so by that I mean past your pyloric sphincter and heading into your duodenum (good eh) which is hopefully getting beyond the point of no return and used to take 3 hours or so but I expect new research has changed that.
I share an office with four community nurses so I'm fine. I have a cast-iron stomach that can cope admirably with wound exudate conversations whilst eating brie and cranberry sandwiches, but if that's just made you grimace and you are of a delicate and refined disposition you may want to stop reading this blog post right this minute because I know it's not my usual fare.
I'll even create a gap to help you make up your mind and give you the chance to go off and look at Susan Hill's blog, go on, look there it is over there>>>>>>>The worst you'll be faced with is lethal crossbow injuries >>>>>>>>>
Well don't say I didn't warn you, you had your chance.
I did an interminable placement as a student nurse in the Casualty department of the London Hospital, Whitechapel back in the olden days so I have seen life at the stomach-pumping/vomit pebble-dashing the walls end of the health care spectrum.It's a lesser known fact that whenever we had to pump out someone's stomach they had always been eating cabbage and if they threw up all over you I'm sorry but it was always carrots, we ran a book on it.They knew how to eat well in 1974.
My fondest memory was suturing practice on a large polystyrene globe in the corner and then we'd march out and confidently do the real thing on real heads.Thankfully most people were so drunk local anaesthetic was surplus to requirements and I got quite good at it, well it's only smocking and quilting if you think about it.
Anyway all this is minor compared to Tom's accounts, he dishes up all the gory details in vast but fascinating quantities, so if all that hasn't put you off be prepared to wear yourself a big metaphorical plastic reading apron and some wellies or something (you might as well get the mask and gloves too) and get stuck into the realities of the underbelly of city life from beneath the flashing blue light in excellent Tom Reynold's style. And be nice in future about pulling over for that blue light event, of course they are not late for their tea break, who on earth had that idea?
I promise you won't be disappointed by Blood, Sweat and Tea but you might not fancy your lunch right away.