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Can You Hear Me?

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  70 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life as a paramedic.

A young man has stopped breathing in a supermarket toilet. A pedestrian with a nasty head injury won't let the crew near him on a busy road. A newborn baby is worryingly silent. An addict urinates on the ambulance floor when denied a fix. This is the life of an ambulance paramedic.

Jake Jones has
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 6th 2020 by Quercus
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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ARC received in exchange for an honest review

Can You Hear Me? is a collection of memoirs from paramedic Jake Jones during his time in the NHS ambulance service. As expected, it’s filled with a multitude of stories that cover the wide breadth of tasks paramedics do, from saving livings to telling people who to take paracetamol. It’s a critique on the misuse of a wonderful service, full of compassion, but also despondency at the amount of abuse such workers receive.

The real highlight for me
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
“Every occupation carries its own mythology. This one has the sparkle of excitement, but don’t be dazzled. Not all flashing lights mean there’s a disco going on.”

In Can You Hear Me?, Jake Jones (writing under a pseudonym) draws on his decade of experience as a paramedic in the UK to share the reality of what he encounters each day (and night) when he dons his green uniform.

The stories are told with compassion and humour, representing the mundane and miraculous, the triumphs and tragedies. Jones
Liz Barnsley
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Paramedics really are the front line when it comes to emergencies and even when it's not so much an emergency but much needed attention of many kinds.

Our NHS takes a bashing but reading this memoir makes you realise the scope of what these professionals achieve, often with few resources and a whole host of work- this is at times heartbreaking, occasionally amusing and really paints a vivid picture of the sheer length and breadth of the different situations encountered.

The writing is sharp and
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!
It shows how hard a shift for a frontline lone paramedic can be, never fully knowing what you are walking into, what you will face and knowing that you will be facing someone's trauma.

I was fascinated right from the very beginning and in awe of how 'Jake' coped.

Everyone needs to read this kind of book, just to have an inkling of what they go through each shift.
Kim Ebner
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a solid memoir and one that I enjoyed reading, but it was just that, an enjoyable read. I didn’t find it to be earth shattering nor something that I feel I need to tell everyone they must read. Having said that, if you’re interested in the NHS ambulance service, and the lives of the paramedics that work for this service, in what these people do every day, in what type of call outs they receive and what type of injuries they attend to, then you’ll enjoy this read. Many different call-outs ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read this arc in exchange for an honest review.

This book details on Jake, a paramedics experience in his field of work from different cases and accidents, outlining scary truths and shocking conclusions. I was shocked to read of the cases where the NHS system was abused by others and felt my heartache for the paramedics not just in the book but in general after reading some of the cases. These people have so much to face, day in and day out with their job,
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book.

There are a few spoilers in this review.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a paramedic? Have you watched the TV programmes and documentaries, so you know what they do, what they are called to?

Well, think again.

Jake explains how he ended up being a paramedic (career change) and he initially struggles with his confidence when dealing with medical situations. However, this confidence grows and he deals with many different jobs
This book is the story of Jake who is a paramedic. It consists of memoirs of many cases that he has been involved in. As a fellow healthcare professional, we has been involved in emergency care, I was aware of the pressures on the ambulance service and hospitals, caused by time wasters and was so glad that this is talked about in the book to make the general public aware.
This book highlights the commitment and compassion of healthcare workers. Paramedics deal with life at the very beginning and
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a paramedic & bookworm, I was asked by Quercus to review this book & I genuinely cannot fault it. I have met every one of its patients, felt every one of its emotions & had moments of such despondency & desperation that I’ve almost walked out of my career. But despite all of the NHS’s faults, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do.

Can You Hear Me gets every aspect of the life of a paramedic right - it does not glorify it (because it certainly is not all about blood,
Jenna Nelson
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love a bit of non fiction. Thus was right up my street and thanks to @netgalley for the advanced copy. I always find it fascinating to hear the stories of patients. To hear of the paramedics side of the job just grips me in and cant even imagine half the things they go through. I've read a few books like this style and they never disappoint. The book was written well and was easy to follow
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
‘Can You Hear Me’ by paramedic Jake Jones is obviously another offering from the large stable of medical musings which are having quite a moment with the public. Unlike some of its companions, this book doesn’t appear to focus sharply on NHS shortages and a system crumbling under pressure. However, this theme runs, mostly subtly, throughout as Jones takes us on a journey of paracetamol- prescribed ailments as well as the real emergencies that he has been trained to deal with. Time and again he ...more
Cen-sational Reads
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Can you Hear Me by Jake Jones - Published by @quercusbooks.
We have all seen those Ambulance programmes where your take behind the scenes of the work a paramedic does and hospitals etc but it never gives you a true picture of what is ACTUALLY going on. How the cases effects the paramedics themselves. At the end of the programme we get an update on how the patient is doing (good or bad) and that’s it....NEXT!!!!
Here is a warts an all book about like as a paramedic, the cases and feelings that
Emma (escapetothebookshelf)
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is a great insight into the life of a paramedic; I found it very honest and intriguing and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys these type of medical memoirs. Each chapter recounts a different job that Jake has worked on and throughout he sprinkles more general anecdotes and opinions on his career. Jake speaks highly of the ambulance service and vividly depicts the daily challenges they face. As well as telling us about the big dramatic jobs that he has been called out to, he also ...more
Monica Mac
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have long been fascinated by books with a strong medical theme and I knew that I would find this book interesting. And it was.

There were so many parts that I had no idea about although I suspected it e.g. people ringing in about non lifethreatening events in the hope of jumping the queue etc but I didn't realise the extent to which paramedics got called out to people in a mental health crisis.

Funnily enough, I did a similar thing to the author and went from selling insurance for a living to
Joanna Pearl
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Paramedic Jake Jones tells us about his ‘frustrating, rewarding, exhausting job’.
But - with an increasing proliferation of ambulance reality TV documentaries - this account is a cut above many as Jones is so honest about the difficulties and dilemmas he faces and the ambiguity of his responses.
I was really struck by one account in which he is assaulted by an aggressive patient and he feels let down by the police who tell him it’s not worth reporting and the A&E staff who question whether the
Julie Haigh
Very good and very easy to read.

I tend to read a lot of medical memoirs; I find them very interesting, and this book certainly was a very good read. A memoir of a paramedic. It starts with a gritty scene. This must be one if the worst things- and he takes on this sort of thing on a daily basis.

I have read another memoir a few years ago centred on the ambulance service-and this new one still had more material I hadn't heard of before; wasn't repetitive. Although, I suppose the nature of their
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A big thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read an eARC of this memoir. I have become a bit obsessed with memoirs, especially medical memoirs, after reading This is Going to Hurt, and so jumped at the change to read this one!

It did not disappoint. It was such an interesting read throughout and it never really let up on the action and drama. Although you think you know what paramedic's deal with you never truly can know and I think this was a real eye-opening look. I enjoyed the individual
Eve beinguniquebooks
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a paramedic we see how Jake and his fellow paramedics have had to deal and cope in certain situations such as car crashes, births, drug abusers, time wasters, hoarders, asthmatics, copd sufferers, deaths, car accidents, babies, suicide attempts and psychotic episodes too the book is full of drama filled real life experiences and tough situations Jake has been forced into facing.

I have always been intrigued into life as a paramedic as we hear all too often of them getting abused on the front
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I enjoy reading memoirs & ones from people with jobs like this particularly appeal.
I did enjoy reading Jake's stories yet I felt it was bland - he isn't a natural wordsmith & the stories jumped around rather illogically. The book would have benefitted from some editting or ghost writing to turn the bland & mundane into something special.
Some sections really touch a nerve - the frail Reggie who waited 3 hours after a fall for help because of a young women reported as "unconscious" who
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A poignant memoir from a paramedic who has worked in ambulances and lone attendance cars. From funny stories, sad and the unwitting callers who just need to take 2 paracetamol instead of one.
This is an honest account of those who are first to attend when someone asks for aid when they dial 999.
A system being pummelled by lack of funding.
A workforce who after sending someone off who may not make it, face the next call as if nothing else matters but the case at hand.
I already had a lot of respect
Ellie (bookmadbarlow)
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fascinating insight into the day to day life of a Paramedic. We follow the author to some of his calls over the years on the job, some harrowing, some interesting and some even abusive.
This is a very well written memoir that held my attention throughout, each chapters tells of a different emergency call with a range of people in all walks of life and with all different issues.
If you like medical memoirs then you should definitely pick this one up.
A word of warning, there is one story towards
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fast paced and impulsive reading.
This book is a memoir of a paramedic in the UK.
Harrowing and humorous tales that tell the reality of what it is like to work in this profession.
Although there is a influx of books of this kind at the moment, this book is one of the best.
Very well written with intelligent observations of what this job entails and the toil it takes on the individual.
What resonants throughout the book is the commitment to help people that keeps healthcare workers going throughout
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading Can You Hear Me opened my eyes to how much more a paramedics job goes further than taking patients to A&E, they are emotional support, they experience first hand the grief of family members after a death and the jobs they're assigned impacts them more than many of us realise. After reading through Jakes memories and his experiences, I have realised that paramedics are the unsung heroes of the medical world, the first responders who initially save lives before handing their patients ...more
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Jake Jones’s biographical view of life as a paramedic, not only tracking through the stories of individual episodes he has attended over the years, but interspersing this with his own story and personal motivations to do the job, and the challenges that he faces as an individual.

As ever, we don’t appreciate quite what the life of a paramedic involves, and how much resources are required to keep us all safe and healthy.
Ami Michelle
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"A memoir of the chaos, intensity and occasional beauty of life as a paramedic." This book gave great insight into the life of a paramedic and the strains and challenges that they face on a daily basis. Some of the anecdotes that were told have certainly stayed with me since my reading of the book and I have always had the utmost respect for those who work on our ambulances, even more so now. Definite 5 stars read for me.
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Can You hear me by Jake Jones is a book with his memoirs of his time as an paramedic.

I found the storeis he told were intersting and informative. My only issue was that I felt some of the writing was disjointed and it confused me a bit.

Would recommend the book if you like medical memoirs.

Thanks to Netgalley and Quercus Books for the ARC.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. I really enjoy books of this genre, and this was no exception. It fitted into the general formula sharing interesting tales from the author's career, although I felt Jones' writing, whilst descriptive and setting the scene well, jumped around a bit too much and could be hard to follow.
Clare Moore
Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read this book.

Interesting insight into the job of a paramedic.
However, felt a bit disjointed due to how the chapters where set out and kept jumping back and forward between the patients and the authors views.
Kelly Smale
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this!!! What a fantastic insight to our NHS and their hard work, often unrewarded. Very honest and well written. If you love watching medical documentaries you will thoroughly enjoy this and I would highly recommend it!!!!
Clare Moore
Jan 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read this book.

Interesting insight into the job of a paramedic.
However, felt a bit disjointed due to how the chapters where set out and kept jumping back and forward between the patients and the authors views.
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