I recently had the pleasure of reading Extreme Medical Services, a novel written by EMS podcaster, author, and educator Jamie Davis. It follows Dean, a rookie paramedic assigned to a station that responds for “unusual” patients – vampires, werewolves, and sirens. I was quickly drawn into the storyline, and stayed up late a few nights to finish it.
While the novel is science fiction, the EMS lifestyle, clinical care, and patient interaction is very close to what real paramedics experience. The characters’ personalities are similar to paramedics I have worked with. Dean occasionally struggles to apply what he learned in class on calls, and works with a preceptor who occasionally loses her patience. He also experiences issues with sleep around a rotating shift and post traumatic stress.
While the patients in Jamie’s novel are “unusual,” the same clinical care can be applied to “usual” patients. The medicine is accurate and written at a level that can be understood by people with no medical background, and may serve as a valuable teaching tool for EMS and nursing students.
The shock Dean experiences on his first calls is similar to what many paramedics experience when first called for patients who are homeless, addicted to drugs, or mentally ill. The paranormal patients are hidden away from the rest of society, much like many “normal” patients encountered by paramedics. He soon learns that patients on the fringe of society deserve the level of compassion and respect as others, and the book provides lessons on how to deliver it.
Extreme Medical Services provides a realistic look at the EMS lifestyle and work even while paramedics care for “unusual” patients. The story is both entertaining and educational, and I recommend it to people both inside and outside of healthcare. I look forward to reading the sequel.