Janice Hudson was a flight nurse from 1987 to 1997. She has also worked in the ER's and intensive care units of several San Francisco Bay area hospitals. In 1996 she became a registered nurse anesthetist and is currently on staff at Kaiser Hayward Medical Center. She lives in San Mateo, California, with her husband Mark, who is also a registered nurse.
Devotees of medical adventures will enjoy this exciting and well-written account of the 10 years the author spent as a flight nurse for CALSTAR (California Shock/Trauma Air Rescue), a helicopter ambulance service based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Drawing on a journal she kept to help herself cope with the stress of dealing with so many critically wounded victims, Hudson describes the dramatic rescues she participated in daily. She worked 24-hour shifts with a second nurse and a pilot; crew members worked, ate and slept together and developed strong bonds based on the quick decisions they had to make to save lives and the heartbreak they sometimes shared. Many of the calls were to the sites of automobile accidents where severely injured people had to be stabilized and airlifted to the nearest trauma center. Hudson relates the story of "amazing Jim," who survived against the odds after she and her colleague worked with firefighters for hours to remove him from the wreckage of a tanker trailer. In other cases, death was unavoidable. Hudson and her crew were called to remove a five-year-old girl from a car crash caused by a parent who was driving drunk. After their patient died, the two nurses also struggled unsuccessfully to save the life of the girl's infant brother, who had been thrown from the wreckage. Despite such sad moments, Hudson, who now works as a nurse anesthetist, has fond memories of her former life on the edge, and she shares them vividly with readers. Color photos. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A fascinating look behind the curtain as it explores the
stress-filled business of saving lives.--Gwen Gentry"Oakland
Not for the weak-hearted! ... the author is a wonderful storyteller.-- (07/01/2001)
Fast-paced nonfiction that reads like an adventure story, with language, print, and content suitable for reluctant readers ... In a balanced and gripping style, Hudson presents readers with an exciting career option and turns them into vicarious trauma junkies.-- (08/01/2001)
Hudson ... was advised to keep a journal to alleviate the stress of her work. These lively and personal memoirs are the fortunate fruit of that advice.-- (05/01/2001)
Devotees of medical adventures will enjoy this exciting and well-written account of the 10 years the author spent as a flight nurse.--Publishers Weekly (04/02/2001)
It's like an episode of ER set high in the sky ... pulse-quickening reality reading.-- (05/01/2001)
Her stories of actual helicopter rescue missions and emergency room work are engrossing ... an exciting portrayal of emergency nursing.-- (06/01/2001)
Throughout the numerous examples of pain, suffering and death, Hudson is able to convey the most important single aspect those working in her field must possess -- human compassion. It is this simple, basic human emotion which is also Trauma Junkie's greatest strength.-- (05/26/2001)