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Trauma Junkie: Memoirs of an Emergency Flight Nurse
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Trauma Junkie: Memoirs of an Emergency Flight Nurse

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  494 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
""Trauma Junkie gives us a view over the flight nurse's shoulder from liftoff until the patient is delivered to the hospital and the agonizing minutes in between. These fascinating true stories are impossible to put down." -- James M. Betts, MD, Chief of Department of Surgery and Director of Trauma Services, Children's Hospital, Oakland"

""An exciting portrayal of emergency
ebook, 272 pages
Published December 1st 2011 by Firefly Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 15, 2012 Chrissy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aviation, medical
I really enjoyed this book. The book is presented in a way that it feels as if you're the author's coworker, and she's just telling you about the calls they ran the night before when you come to relieve her or over drinks at a bar a few days later. In other words, it's written in that intimate, EMS-bonding type of way. It's a fast-paced read, as evidenced by the fact I read it in one day. At times this book had me laughing out loud, and other times saddened over particular events that were relat ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Totally captivating! Janice tells a few stories starting from when their beepers go off to inform them of a new case, to dropping the patient of at the hospital and following up later to learn the outcome of the case. The stories are retold with so much detail that it really feels like I was an observer on each flight.

While there are a few light-hearted stories, most of the cases have tragic outcomes. It is especially tough to read about the pediatric deaths :( Although I am totally fascinated b
Rachel Brown
Solid memoir about what it says on the can, thoughtful and full of interesting stories, but nothing that lifts it above what it says on the can.
Feb 23, 2015 K. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2015
This is a good book to pick up for anyone interested in flight nursing, or any other part of healthcare: ER nurses and providers who take care of the patients flown in; therapists, religious leaders, or mental health professionals who take care of patients recovering from illness and trauma; perhaps even loved ones of people who do these jobs and want to understand what it's like. Of course, anyone just interested in healthcare or gruesome stories might enjoy it, too. It does help a little to ha ...more
Eva Leger
Jul 10, 2009 Eva Leger rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only ppl VERY interested in the subject
2.5 - I don't know - this isn't as interesting as I'd been expecting. I understand that Hudson isn't an author by profession and was ready to make allowances for this but it just didn't grab me like I thought it would. I wouldn't suggest this to anyone unless they were totally into the subject, not just the subject of nursing, but flight nurses to be exact.
There were parts that were more interesting of course, the parts telling about the patients and what was done to try to save their lives imp
Jun 18, 2010 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really showed a range of stories and emotions that kept me interested and wanting to read more. It went from sad/tragic to funny/light-hearted stories that helped keep it from getting too dark and depressing. For many people the stories might be too graphic or disturbing (I wouldn't recommend this book to just anyone). But if you have a strong stomach and are interest in these kinds of stories, I would definitely recommend it. I found the book fascinating and really enjoyed reading it. ...more
Jun 07, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a very exciting true account of one nurse's work aboard an emergency transport helicopter. She details to many different kinds of emergencies from gang wars, to accidents, to fires .One of her success involved working on a patient hanging upside down in his car. She writes with humor and compassion.
Oct 10, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me by a friend who thought I'd like it because of my past role as an ER nurse. I didn't expect to like it, as I find most that most of the nursing memoirs I've read are eye rolling-ly boring or attempts to educate none medical readers. I thought this memoir was surprisingly well presented and it kept me enthralled. Although I saw some memorable and very sad sights in my ER( in a smallish rural Canadian city) my experiences were small potatoes compared to hers. I have immen ...more
Christina Cici_Mf_Lee
My mother is a nurse and all through my childhood years I have been fascinated with health science and medicine. I would ponder through all of my mothers medical books justto look at the gruesome pictures and get a sense of what that person was going through. From then on out I've been absolutely fascinated with anything EMTs do and this book really blew my mind. I give it 5 stars because of how passionate Janice told her day to day flights and all the gruesome details to go with it. I planted m ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, I loved it. The stories were a bit gory at times, but I expect that with the types of patients she deals with.

The tales involving children were just heart breaking, and at times, you have to wonder about how many could have been avoided if alcohol had not been involved.

I also agree with this nurses comments on preserving life, when the reality is, the quuality of the life the person has, is not worth it. Like this author, I think some people in the medical proffesion need to look
Jan 01, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Trauma care is about understanding of [sic] how a human body reacts to outside forces, whether a bullet, a car accident, fall or burn. If we can understand the forces, we can anticipate injuries, prioritize them, starting with the ones that will kill you first."

Trauma Junkie is one damn-fine read. While an older memoir with second-edition updated reflections, Hudson has an authentic, embraceable voice and a gift for medical illustration that should make most men's testes yo-yo up into pelvic c
Jul 03, 2015 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Janice Hudson has a gift for writing and some of her adventures as an emergency flight nurse on a helicopter with CALSTAR are the stuff of TV dramas. Cases vary from heart attacks to gunshot victims to families terribly injured in car crashes to young babies barely holding on while the CALSTAR helicopter tries to whisk them from a rural area to a big city pediatric hospital before they get worse and die. In between stories of patients and flights, Ms. Hudson weaves ot ...more
Jun 10, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading medical field memoirs (yet have zero interest in working in the field) and this one was a stand out because I never really thought about who is on board those medical helicopters and what they have to face from shift to shift, basically very, very sick or injured people. This was a quick read and you felt like the author was relaying some work stories just to you. The medical knowledge needed to understand this book was very minimal as she explained what you needed to know. Very ...more
Jun 14, 2012 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012

Really interesting and easy to read. I picked it up one evening (it was loaned to my husband) and could not put it down. She also tells stories about being an E R nurse. She gets opinionated about having an advanced directive and that there is a time to not intervene with heroic medical lifesaving measures which I don't necessarily disagree with but it didn't really fit in with the rest of the book. Still. Really great informative read.
Dec 21, 2013 Pam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I was not as taken in by this book as I am most medically based non-fiction. While interesting, at least at first, by the nature of her work on a rescue team that choppered into sites to care for an injured person, there was just a transitional time spent the patient(s) - she and her team cared for the patient on site, stabilized them to travel and delivered them to a medical facility. Interesting in that it was not the usual practice or facility based story.
Feb 19, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written book that captures all teh many facets that go into the profession. I especially liked an opportunity to see how things look from a different perspective; having been on the ground side of EMS for 20+ years, I really appreciate when the helo shows up with the additional skill sets that often make the difference. My hat's off to Janice Hudson and all that she accomplished.
Apr 23, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW what a powerful book! Being a med surg nurse I found this book to be very thrilling, interesting and touched on every emotion. I'm thankful that Janice decided to write this book. This has many stories to show how intense the day in the life of a flight nurse is. Some happy and some sad but rewarding cases. Now I'm in search of more like this.
Kimber Scott
Sep 30, 2009 Kimber Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, nursing
I read this book in less than a day. I couldn't put it down and I should have been studying for my psych nursing exam! This book is written clearly and quickly. My adrenaline was on high through the entire read, but a couple of times I had to stop reading to cry. This is an excellent behind the scenes look at emergency nursing. Honest. Heartbreaking.
Feb 11, 2012 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! I didn't think I would enjoy it due to the subject matter but I found it interesting and exciting. The stories of the children hurt due drinking and driving was sad and heartbreaking. This book helped me understand the importance of those in the medical field especially the nurses and the first responders. I have a new respect for those who do this job.
Tia Yarborough
Jan 03, 2015 Tia Yarborough rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!

Read it twice! Honest and relevant. A very real look into what we face daily, the emotions felt and the wonderful ability to love the job through all of its ups, downs, deaths, and survivors!
Emily Poulin
Jun 30, 2015 Emily Poulin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
incredible story

This book gives you am incredible insight into the work and life of a flight nurse. Janice's story is one that you will find holding your breathe through, chuckling at moments and wiping a tear in othersz
Nov 07, 2012 Meg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book!! She's a nurse, not an author, but she does a great job telling her stories. This should be a must-read for all medical personnel and also for all patients (so they can understand what it's like from the responder's perspective).
Aaron Turgeon
Oct 13, 2013 Aaron Turgeon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this for a class report. I got it from my school library. Finished it in one day. Then later that year i ended up buying the book for myself. I love this book! Have read it twice now. And am planning to read it again here soon.
Dec 25, 2015 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have ready several emergency medicine novels and this is definitely one of my favorites. I was a Paramedic in a busy urban EMS system and Janice Hudson does an amazing job at making it interesting for people in and out of the profession.
Dec 05, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Janice is by far the most badass nurse, and I will definitely use her and her stories as inspiration for my career. Such an incredible story.
Jun 10, 2010 Sunny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book for those interested in the subject. I thought that it kept my attention and shared a lot of stories and insight on situtations!
Sep 08, 2012 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a such a great autobiography of a real flight nurse and the real situations from the early days of the CalStar flight program. It was facinating.
Jan 18, 2009 Sean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book for trauma heads. Some good clinical gore and personal reflections about the state of our medical system. Good stuff!
Jamie Mattison
May 02, 2015 Jamie Mattison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Trauma junkie was very entertaining! I work as an RN in a rural ER and thoroughly enjoyed the fascinating stories!
Christine Bonin
Jul 27, 2015 Christine Bonin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this one. I loved reading the anecdotes of a trauma junkie like myself. I hope that I will be as great a flight nurse as this author someday!
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  • Intensive Care: The Story of a Nurse
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  • Bedside Manners: One Doctor's Reflections on the Oddly Intimate Encounters Between Patient and Healer
  • Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper's Memoir of Fighting Wildfire
  • Trauma: My Life as an Emergency Surgeon
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  • Medical-Surgical Nursing (Single Volume): Assessment and Management of Clinical Problems

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