Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

New Book Balances Humor and Trauma for Real-Life Portrait of Emergency Services Workers

February 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 181

We've all seen the television programs of EMTs, paramedics, nurses, and doctors racing patients into the emergency room to save their lives. Those depictions are usually heroic, and occasionally, they show a quirky patient, or the exhaustion felt by the workers. But how true are those depictions?

Sherry Jones Mayo knows about these situations from real-life, and she writes about them honestly, simply, and always humorously. She is the rare person who can find humor in almost any situation, and I suspect that her sense of humor-which must spring from a very deep and caring soul with an unimaginable endurance-is what keeps her going on twelve and twenty-four hour shifts in a quest to help people who cannot help themselves, to save lives, and to receive nowhere near the appreciation she deserves. Perhaps writing about these situations is her way to make sense from and cope with it all.

Sherry's first book "Confessions of a Trauma Junkie" opened my eyes to the realities of being an emergency services worker, especially as an EMT and a nurse paramedic. But Sherry has had a lifetime of experiences, and one book just wasn't enough to say everything, so now, "More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie" fulfills that need.

This "sequel" offers humor to anyone needing a laugh, insight into emergency services for anyone considering such a career, and I think for Sherry's colleagues, a comic and truthful look at the work they do every day to save lives. I'm sure emergency workers who read this book will laugh, perhaps cry, and think about similar situations they've been in-in fact, they could probably all write their own books.

Sherry does not disappoint in depicting the humor, the sadness, or the trauma associated with emergency services. The first part of the book is devoted to dealing with quirky patients, including a 350-pound woman who calls the ambulance, and then when the EMTs arrive, they can hear her run from the door to her bed, where she proceeds to thrash around, obviously faking her illness, yet the EMTs have to take her seriously and carry her enormous body on an extremely hot day from an upstairs apartment in a building without an elevator, down to the ambulance. And then there are the people wrapped in bubble wrap, the ones with homes filled with cockroaches, and the ones whose home remedies go wrong. There's even a woman who may be demonically possessed following a voodoo ritual gone wrong. Seriously, you have to read this book to believe these stories, yet I don't doubt for a second they are all true.

I daresay emergency services workers have seen it all, or at least they think they have, until they get that next strange call-whether it's a fake call from someone who just wants an ambulance ride, or a person with a strange sexual fetish that when carried out, just didn't go the way he wanted.

But "More Confessions of a Trauma Junkie" is more than a compilation of funny stories. It gets at the very heart of what it is to be an EMT, a paramedic, a nurse, or a doctor. It is a heroic, exhausting, and emotionally traumatic calling. Other people's trauma can become the emergency worker's trauma, even though the workers try very hard not to let these situations affect them. As Sherry points out, "Rule #1: People Die. Rule #2: Medics cannot change rule #1. (But boy, do we try!")

Having this kind of job means a love-hate relationship with the role. You love the people you work with, and you love helping the patients, but you hate to see people die. Still, you are addicted to trauma; you can't get wanting to save everyone out of your system. The last section of the book is told by a Hurricane Katrina Military Responder, who makes the point that many of the workers who responded to Hurricane Katrina came away feeling disappointed because they couldn't do more. Emergency services workers want to keep the world safe. It's impossible, but they want to try anyway.

At the end of the book is a mini-interview with the author. Sherry sums things up best, I think, when she is asked, "Why did you write this book?" She talks about people's reactions when she tells them what she does for a living and then states:

"What they do not realize until it happens to them is that trauma affects someone who is loved and cherished, and lives are forever changed. I want people to see the world for a moment through my eyes, to walk with me through the broken glass, to sit next to me and hold the hand of the injured or dying, to fight against death thinking that sometimes we just might have the power to win those battles. And then I want them to see the complete lunacy of it all and laugh."

One interesting personal story Sherry includes in the book is what it was like the day her stepfather died and how she experienced having emergency services workers she did not know arrive to care for him. In short, she has seen both sides of emergencies, which has made her both compassionate and dedicated.

What is next for Sherry Mayo Jones? She hints that a Trauma Junkie Anthology may be down the road. I'm sure we've only begun to hear the stories she and her colleagues could tell that will teach us a bit more about what it is to be human.

This article was first published online at Blog Critics Magazine February 23, 2012

Tyler R. Tichelaar holds a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from Northern Michigan University and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. His family's long relationship with Upper Michigan and his avid interest in genealogy inspired Dr. Tichelaar to write his Marquette Trilogy: Iron Pioneers, The Queen City, and Superior Heritage. Dr. Tichelaar is also a professional book reviewer and editor. For more information about Tyler R. Tichelaar, his writing, and his author services,

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Emergency Services




Trauma Junkie








Hurricane Katrina



Finding and collecting vintage comic books for fun and profit is something that is interesting, but can be difficult. With so many places to look, narrowing down the options can be painstaking, until

By: Jorge Orduna l Book Reviews > Comics Humor l July 07, 2012 lViews: 286

Action packed story that reads like you are there in person. Lieutenant Commander Andrew Carlson was a U.S. Navy Seal. He was as rough and tough as they come. He was part of a mission to be inserted

By: Cy Hilterman l Book Reviews > Mysteries Thrillers l July 06, 2012 lViews: 278

"Look Me In The Eye, If You Dare!" Okay, all of You "Internet Millionaire Moguls," I want some answers, and I want them now.

By: Travis L Perkins l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 310

Crush it is a great "How to" book on using social media and being real with yourself on what you do. Gary is very passionate about what he does. The key to his success is blending who he is with what

By: Joe Mosed l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 547

My resolution this year was to knuckle down and do something to bring in some new clients for my practice, so I was pleased to see that Internet Marketing Bible for Accountants looked like it might

By: Karen K Jefferson l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 295

When promoting your business online, are you using internet marketing? If you have yet to spread your branches into the online world, you ought to consider doing so.

By: Joyce McNeill Christopher l Book Reviews > Internet Marketing l June 29, 2012 lViews: 281

If you are interested in metaphysics at all, learning about these individuals is unavoidable. If you had to choose teachers to research, these metaphysical teachers can tell you the most about the

By: Nina M Capeloutol Book Reviews > Biographies Memoirsl June 19, 2012 lViews: 212

One of the most enduring-popular of English-speaking authors, a major biography of Charles Dickens takes us through his fascinating life against the backdrop of Victorian Britain. A major novelist

By: Katharine M Trelawneyl Book Reviews > Biographies Memoirsl June 19, 2012 lViews: 210

In book one of his memoirs, Back Channel: The Kennedy Years, author William Bertram MacFarland offers an intriguing account of his life as the Special Assistant to the President of the United States.

By: Melissa Brown Levinel Book Reviews > Biographies Memoirsl June 18, 2012 lViews: 179

On September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch delivered his now, world renowned speech entitled, "The Last Lecture." Pausch was a professor of computer science at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University,

By: Timothy Zaunl Book Reviews > Biographies Memoirsl June 16, 2012 lViews: 258

This is an autobiography, a political history of Pakistan by one of the scions of a prominent Baluch family and a practicing politician. It is also an indictment of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the ex-Prime

By: Tarique R Memonl Book Reviews > Biographies Memoirsl June 10, 2012 lViews: 218

One of the few political personalities in recent history, who have generated and maintained a lot of charisma and respect, is Nelson Mandela. His autobiography is still an inspiration for those who

By: Tarique R Memonl Book Reviews > Biographies Memoirsl June 10, 2012 lViews: 229

Rakesh Sethi's new book "Cruising Through Turbulence" asks key questions about the pursuit of money, financial security, and what brings happiness. It explores philosophical questions in an

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Self Helpl June 21, 2012 lViews: 146

Cheryl Carpinello's new book "The King's Ransom" is the first in her "Young Knights of the Round Table" series. An educator, Carpinello has made the book reader-friendly for teachers and classrooms

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Childrens Booksl June 19, 2012 lViews: 178

"The Prodigal Housekeeper" by Don Michael is one of the most surprising metaphysical novels of recent years. Filled with surprises, quirky characters, and a look into the supernatural world, this

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Fictionl June 06, 2012 lViews: 206

Author Linda McLendon has written a moving story of family secrets, two former undercover government workers, lies, and a past that must be revealed. Set in Florida, "Unintended Lies" is filled with

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Fictionl May 25, 2012 lViews: 168

Marvin White, successful entrepreneur, shares the secrets of his success in his new book "Seven Pillars to Profit." White tells his personal story and provides numerous anecdotes of his work in

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Businessl April 17, 2012 lViews: 173

Sam Moffie's new novel "To Kill the Duke" offers a rollicking and humorous look at the making of one of Hollywood's most notoriously bad films, "The Conqueror." Moffie brings to life John Wayne,

By: Tyler Tichelaarl Book Reviews > Fictionl April 14, 2012 lViews: 167