Following up on his well-received first book, Andy Thompson provides another captivating, thought-provoking and at times intense glimpse into the daily life of a Paramedic working in the UK’s National Health Service. In the style of his first book, Andy recalls each event from the detailed documentation recorded at the time, each account written in a way that puts the reader right there next to him so that you live the events in real-time, hear the dialogue between paramedics, patient, their loved ones and other healthcare professionals as it would have been, and share in Andy’s thought processes during each of the ten very different situations he encounters.
The term ‘The Dark Side’ describes the frontline emergency aspect of the Ambulance Service, since paramedics frequently experience sombre situations. In ‘The Dark Side, Part 2’ you will share in some truly traumatic, tragic and tearful events involving a seemingly vibrant, healthy young patient, a prison inmate, the victims of an horrific car crash, heart attacks, a frightening epileptic fit, the alarming effects of an allergic reaction, and what can happen when under-strain doctors prescribe the wrong medication. But there’s still room for lighthearted moments and a taste of the sometimes dark humour that allows paramedics to continually deal with events most of us would find too horrific.
The detail in the descriptions of the care given to each patient on-scene by Andy and his colleagues will have you marvelling at the ability of these healthcare professionals to work at such speed of thought, buying enough time to deliver a patient into the specialist hands of hospital care and often full recovery. Of course there are inevitably also those times when tears of hope turn to tears of despair for loved ones. You cannot feel that pain until it happens to you, but this book will bring you mighty close to it at times.
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In June 2002, Andy commenced employment with the Mersey Regional Ambulance Service, which later merged with the Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire Ambulance Services to form the Northwest Ambulance Service NHS Trust. He rapidly progressed from the Patient Transport Service (PTS) to qualified Paramedic status via Ambulance Technician training, experience gained in the job and further extended training from which, upon qualifying, he was presented with a ‘Professional Paramedic Development Award’ for most improved candidate.
In 2005 he registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC), the national governing body for UK paramedics; this changed its name to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in August 2012.
Andy spent the earlier part of his career working in the English counties of Cheshire and Merseyside. In 2007, after living ‘up north’ for 32 years, Andy relocated down south with his wife and two children, residing there until he and his family relocated to North Yorkshire in September 2013. There, Andy continues his career as an NHS Paramedic with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.