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Emergency!: True Stories From The Nation's ERs
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Emergency!: True Stories From The Nation's ERs

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  811 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
* A suicide attempt by an "explosive" young man...
* The "hidden secrets" of a grotesquely obese patient...
* A couple whose amorous acrobatics get out of hand...
* A child brought back from the dead...

Bristling with the raw power of reality, this riveting book recounts true tales of life and death from the emergency rooms of America. Dr. Mark Brown asked over 15,000 fellow E
Paperback, 300 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 16th 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 26, 2012 Kristin rated it it was amazing
This is one of my absolute favorite books, and I've read it so often that the inner piece of the front cover has come loose from its binding. Because it is broken down into many short pieces, it is the kind of book I can pick up for a few minutes at a time or read it cover to cover in one sitting. I have laughed over the humorous stories and been saddened by the tragic ones.
In an era of HIPAA and other restricted privacy laws, I've found more recent medical books to be bland and watered down whe
Eva Leger
Sep 02, 2008 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in medical stories
Recommended to Eva by: myself
This consists of doctors and nurses sharing stories with the readers and I very much like the way it's put together. When I found out the type of book this was I expected it to be put into neat little driving related accidents, SIDS deaths, and other disasters. In the beginning a doctor mentions that it isn't like that in an ER and that you never know what's coming through the doors and when. That is how the book is shared. You can go from laughing so hard to doing ...more
Oct 28, 2010 Chibineko rated it really liked it
I've had this book for quite some time & have re-read it more than once. Each time I'm struck by how true to life most of the stories are & how many I've experienced in the time I've worked at my hospital ER. The only trouble? Some of these stories are known urban legends.

This book collects several stories, some of which are sad, some infuriating, some hilarious. One of the stories that always seems to stick with me is the one about the insane violinist. It's a truly sad story, that one.
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
Jan 20, 2011 Elizabeth Nesbit-comer rated it it was amazing
I love emergency room stories. There need to be so many more books like this
Koko Odya
Feb 14, 2012 Koko Odya rated it really liked it
As an ICU RN this was a very fun read. It's composed of short stories experienced by nurses and doctors across the country. Some of the stories are hilarious while others are heart breaking. It talks about how grueling night shift and life in the ER can be. Many of these stories have/could also been seen in the ICU. It was a very fun and a very fast read. If anyone has a family member in the medical field I encourage you to read this. It's well written and gives a little insight to the horrific ...more
Debi Montana
Jul 09, 2009 Debi Montana rated it really liked it
Riveted to this book! Chris is thinking about a medical career and picked out all these books in the bookstore and library- I was worried that they might be too graphic so started reading some of them first- sooo hooked! while I might not ever go to the hospital again without nightmares... I can't stop reading these short stories about all kinds of ER situations. Read it in one night- crazy!
Jan 08, 2009 K rated it liked it
Would have been better without the handful of urban legends and painfully old email forward jokes about how "lol this woman was so fat we found a remote in her vagina and she couldn't even feel it!"
Dec 27, 2011 Kylie rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this. These kinds of books are always my favorites. I want to be a nurse and this book has officially made me want to work in the emergency room.
Mar 18, 2013 Kendal rated it it was amazing
Read this book. Seriously.

It's hilarious, sad, optimistic, amazing, and offers an incredible insight into a profession that often does the impossible.
Melissa Fowler
Dec 04, 2010 Melissa Fowler rated it it was amazing
Loved it! There are some stories in here that made me cringe, laugh, cry. This book is my right down my alley. I've shared many of these stories with my nursing students in post conference.
Angel Lopez
Nov 01, 2016 Angel Lopez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite the adventure. The book leads you through several tales of the nation's ER rooms. Some stories are lengthy lasting several pages, or others are short niblets of paragraphs. Despite their difference in number count, they all share the same characteristics. They will evoke emotion and compassion. The emotions are often variable as they range from the side splitting hilarity to the tear inducing sadness, or maybe all in one. Though, after a while, the book tends to be somewhat ...more
Nov 19, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If You've Ever Been There It Means Even More

It brought me back through the years to a time long ago but never forgotten. The impossibly sad and the incredibly humorous all mixed together. It is a story of great love and loss, of people who do a heroic job usually with little or no thanks, but with a tremendous sense of self-satisfaction. To all of you who know what it's all about, and for those who have never crossed the threshold of an emergency department, it is a light on the story.
Carrie Courter
Nov 01, 2016 Carrie Courter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed out loud, and then shed a few tears a few pages later. this book has a very nice mixture of the funny stories, the heartwarming stories, and the stories that break your heart and a few that make you angry.

This book is a compilation of real life experiences from doctors, nurses, and physicians assistants who work in the Emergency rooms. I had great respect for them before, but after reading this, I have even more respect for what they go through.
Mary Bloodworth
A Reader's Digest of ER Stories

A compilation from various medical personnel and extremely uneven. Some stories are horrifying, some hackneyed. Interesting but probably not worth your time.
Anna Marie
Nov 06, 2016 Anna Marie rated it liked it
This was like the "Chicken Soup" books, with all very short stories and memories from the ER. Easy to read little bits as time permitted. I did find it interesting, although somewhat depressing.
Apr 04, 2014 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I purchased my first copy of this book in hardback. I believe it was 1996. I still have it, but it's falling apart from so many people reading it. I was working the night shift back then as the admitting clerk in ER. I experienced so many emotions reading and re-reading these short stories. I was especially excited to find one about someone from my small town - even thou the medical treatment happened in Seattle.
Maybe I loved this book so much because I worked in the medical field, but honestly
Mar 30, 2009 Tara rated it really liked it
I finished this book wondering if it was funny and poignant to me because I've been exposed to medical humor all my life. Having read a few snippets of it to friends and such now, I think it's actually just laugh-out-loud funny sometimes.
This is a collection edited by Dr. Brown of stories from the ER nurses and Docs around America. Many of them are hilarious, some of them highlight the frustrating powerlessness that doctors are often confronted with, and some are tear-jerkers. Most of them are p
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 Beth Cato rated it liked it
I bought this for research purposes for my novel. I didn't end up getting any information out of it in that regard, but it was a fascinating read. This book was published in 1996 in the heyday of the TV show ER, and is an anthology of different bizarre, funny, or sad incidents submitted by doctors and nurses from across the U.S. I felt rather voyeuristic while reading, but the material was so intriguing that I couldn't resist reading more. The stories range the regular drunks that filter through ...more
Jul 25, 2008 Cordell rated it liked it
This is a fun book to read but I had to laugh when I read the book description when it said that it was "Bristling with the raw power of reality." It is a collections of short stories told by many different ER doctors and health care providers. All of them short none of them "Bristling" with anything. How can a story thats 4 pages long bristle. Nothing wrong with the book it was interesting and easy to put down and pick up again. It took me about 3 years to read because there is nothing ...more
Homo Sapien
Apr 25, 2013 Homo Sapien rated it it was amazing
This book was filled with humorous and heart-stopping stories about ERs and the doctors, nurses, and patients that inhabit them.

The stories range from grotesque humor (you get used to that by the end of the book) to serious illness and stories that let us peak into the unknown world of the ER. Each account is written in a simple but effective style to give a clear picture of the ER. More than once it had me stunned at the difficulty doctors and nurses face when caring for patients and their fam
Oct 03, 2013 Tina rated it liked it
Although interesting, this book wasn't what I expected. I thought all of the stories would be hilarious and outrageous tales of ER shenanigans. There were some of those, but there were just as many heart-wrenching stories of families losing loved ones, children dying, all the worst things you can imagine happening in the ER. I cried several times reading this. (Granted, I had PMS, so maybe you'll be stronger.)

The stories were well-written and compelling, and provided a well-rounded view of what
Savannah Darling
Jan 02, 2014 Savannah Darling rated it liked it
Shelves: medicine
This was a short but highly amusing read. I finished it in a few hours on a lazy day, and it was definitely time well spent. While most of the stories are short and generally amusing, there are also some stories with deeper meaning and reflection. Overall, it was a fun read and a great way to learn some of the jokes and lingo of the emergency department. It was especially cool because, soon after, I got the chance to shadow in the ED and compare notes!
Apr 19, 2016 Holly rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
At times funny, heart-wrenching, and just plain bizarre, it's a collection of stories from emergency room doctors and nurses, each of whom bring their own personality and often wit to the situation. Other times, it's heart-wrenchingly sad to read, both in terms of the events themselves and the detachment necessary in order to work such positions; it's a stark reminder that those who see people at their worst or, even, at their last are human too.
Feb 02, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an interesting peek into the inner workings of an emergency room.
What amazes me is how some doctors remain by choice in that particular field for years and years. The stress and burnout rate has to be beyond the pale.
I recommend this book for anyone who hasn't had the misfortune to visit an emergency room. It's an eye opener.
I especially liked the format of the book where doctors across the country contributed some of their experiences while on ER duty.
Feb 19, 2013 Nancy rated it really liked it
Very much a page-turner. I actually think of this book every time I walk into an emergency room (sadly, it's been quite a few times). I would imagine there could be an update to this book on a yearly basis! Interesting, funny, sad, and touching (and sometimes eewww inspiring). Very much recommended for a quick, entertaining read.
Sep 11, 2016 Diana rated it really liked it
An interesting collection of stories and vignettes about emergency rooms across the country.
Some of the stories are very funny, some very sad, some revolting, and others heart warming.
If you have ever worked in medicine, you know how true it is that you never know what is going to come through the doors. You also know that people and what they do is unbeliebable.
Aug 03, 2015 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medical
I've been excited to read this and it lived up to all my expectations. Really enjoyed how the stories were from MDs, PAs and RNs and from all over USA. There is a definate thread that binds all his healthcare workers (especially ED or critical care) and comforting being able to relate to a fellow MD, PA, or RN!
Jul 01, 2012 Megan rated it liked it
A quick read that had me thinking of HIPAA the whole time as many stories are quite unique and the doctors' names and locations are disclosed. Some stories are sad, some funny, and some just disturbing. Written by the providers themselves, at times it is too frank a peek into the psyche of those on the front lines in the ER.
Oct 05, 2014 Megantron rated it really liked it
Some of these are sad, but others are down right hilarious! I wonder what goes through people's minds to make them think they should do what they're doing. Especially when it is something crazy. This is a good read for anyone who is interested in the goings on of the E.R. or likes the craziness of Untold Stories of the E.R.
Amanda Capp
I wish that the stories were a tad bit longer. I did enjoy reading the book, and it kept me entertained. However some of the stories were not even like 3 sentences long. But it was a good read, and some stories were funny, some were very sad. Just a all around decent read.
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