Originally published: 18 April 2019
Author: Molly Case
Published by: Viking
Genre: Medical Memoir
Length: 280 pages
Reading dates: 10-13 June 2019
This is a medical memoir, a genre I am thrilled is being populated by lots of moving and informative books. The author, Molly Case studied English Literature and creative writing at Bath University and while there worked as a care worker in a residential facility for people with Alzheimer’s. She discovered her natural calling, deciding to train as a nurse.
How to Treat People details her experiences as a nurse. She details her own experiences of a rare gastrointestinal disorder as a teenager and how it felt for her when her dad became a patient on the cardiac unit on which she worked. There are also medical descriptions explaining how a medical professional will examine a patient from head to toe using the ABCDE method (Airway, Breathing. Circulation, Disability, Exposure) and the roots of current medical science from both Greek and Egyptian origins.
There are also plenty of patient stories, all moving and we see the compassion and care that the medical profession afford these people. There are also some amusing moments (a man who couldn’t remove his penis ring before surgery!) I loved that it was written by someone who has studied literature because the language was beautiful and compelling.
Having spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last few years with my son who has a rare autoinflammatory disorder, it is fascinating to be able to read about the people who care for us. This books isn’t overly sentimental or emotional but is an honest account of what it is like to be a nurse – Case is a talented writer and an exceptional nurse.
Many thanks to Corinna at Penguin Random House / Viking for my gifted copy as part of an Instagram tour.
About the author:
Molly Case is a spoken-word artist, writer, and nurse. She was born and raised in London, where she currently works at St George’s Hospital as a cardiac nurse specialist. Her debut collection of poetry, Underneath the Roses Where I Remembered Everything, was published in 2015. She has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, Elle magazine, and Huffington Post, and was named in the Health Service Journal’s Inspirational Women list and the BBC’s 100 Women list.