Monday, 12 February 2007

Analyzing the blog

I have attracted a lot of attention to this blog, mainly because of the way I write it. I didn't know what was going on online and in my work environment until I was finally told by someone who has known me for a long time.

As you know, I have had a few over-critical comments made on my postings (some, to be fair were just badly worded and I did think them over). I have also had a few problems at work as a result of this blog and the way I appear to be to others (possibly because they make assumptions about me as a result of my writing).

I have discovered just how much blogging is loathed in the profession. All except one site is berated at some point by 'professional' colleagues who just can't stand the idea of anyone writing down what they have done during a shift. Fair enough but it is an exercise in free speech. Nevertheless, I have also discovered how much I have offended a few people as a result of the style of writing I have. I have had a look at my earlier postings and I can see what the fuss is about. I do sometimes come across as arrogant and self-serving. Someone has the impression that I don't like EMT's (Techs) and that I cannot understand. I am an EMT with a bag surely? Most of my friends are EMT's.

So I have put the record straight on 'their' site and I am doing it here because you all need to know that writing about this job is a very tricky thing to do and it has profoundly affected my work environment. I confess to being a little less than careful about my wording at the beginning and so I have steadily developed another style of writing (you may have noticed). I have been pulled up for being too graphic and I am no longer willing to write about my experiences in such detail (I will do that in my private reflections). Graphic details may offend someone involved or who has had a similar experience.

I will no longer refer to myself in terms that isolate EMT's to a lower level, which I never intended to do and never even noticed (neither did my readers). When I referred to me being the paramedic on a job or having to take over that was not a deliberate attempt to make EMT's look bad or beneath me. I see no difference except that I have to do certain things in certain situations and have to be damn careful about my registration.

As for deleting comments, well some of them just can't be published! I never as much as leave the thumb print of profanity on my site. Not that I don't swear, of course I do, just not much. It's a poor use of the English language I think. The main reason I keep my site so clean is that children read it with interest; I know this because of past comments made by their parents and so I will not tolerate the use of foul and offensive language.

I read a book years ago called 'Blue lights and bandages'. It was written by a man who had served over 30 years in the ambulance service in Scotland. It was a very graphic and revealing book and it was about real people. It helped me make up my mind about becoming a Paramedic and I didn't find it in the least embarrassing or offensive. I saw it for what it was. I began writing this blog, without knowledge of any other of its kind, with that book in mind. What I didn't know and have had to learn, is that people in this business do not want to read about it and that a few will do the worst that they can in order to gag you. This has been a shocking lesson for me because I wandered into this place thinking it was full of like-minded people. Even at my age, I was naive. I was writing it for YOU not them.

I am now more aware of how I interact with my colleagues and will be a lot more careful about how I behave. Not because I have been bullied into it - I don't respond to that rubbish. I am doing this because I am part of a very large team and I need to respect the rules of the game, even if my whole life has been conditioned in the opposite direction. I'm adapting, that's what I am doing. All it took was someone to tell me man-to-man what was going on. I respond well to being spoken to like a grown up.

This blog will continue because a LOT of people read it. You don't say much but I think that's because you like to read it more than comment on it. In any case, your kind and supportive comments alone are enough to draw the fire of the few. Can't win, right?

I am on nights soon and you know how much I like them...

Be safe.


Anonymous said...

I have been an avid reader of your blog for quite a while but have never left a comment. I feel however that now is the time to do so. I can understand your wish not to offend anyone and I suppose due to you being in a caring profession is only natural however I ask people to remember, they CHOOSE to read it. You have mentioned on a few occasions freedom of speech, well there is also freedom of choice. Any people who find your entries offensive or too graphic can easily close the page. You give an accurate insight into a daily profession many people could not face and deal with situations we would like to believe only happens in films. I admire and commend your courage. Keeping writing and take care.

Weefz said...

I've been reading for a while as well. I'm with you that it's better to know what really is going on. I'd much rather hear about paramedics and emergency services from the people who live it every day than get information filtered through mainstream media or press releases or even heavily edited "reality" TV. If an incident is graphic... well, life is graphic. Truthful blogs like yours are important.

I'd also like to say that I never thought you came across as viewing EMTs or other specialities as "lesser". Different jobs are different jobs. Everyone is valuable.

Anonymous said...

I too have been reading your blog for a while, but don't think I've ever left a comment. I love it, it's one of my daily reads.

Jon Delaunt said...

Let me guess - BWTS got arsey? I saw what they wrote about Carmelo Alongi, and that was pretty harsh. But Mr Reynolds (God bless him) is fully accepted. I know there are two very different styles of writing there, of course. What's more, when I was on there, I was absolutely torn to shreds because I am a) private sector and b) work for a well-known VAS, disliked by many state service bods. Thus, I left. Thank god they didn't get hold of my "work" blog!

Petrolhead said...

I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now, and I really like it. I'm 19 and know I want to work in the medical profession but I'm not sure whether to go into nursing or to be a paramedic, but thanks to your blog I'm veering towards the paramedic side.
I'm glad you're continuing to write the blog, because I find it absolutly fascinating.

Have fun doing nights! :-D

Anonymous said...

Since I discovered your blog I have been an avid reader and have commented on more than one occasion as you know. I find it refreshing to read about the 'real life' of another sector of health care. Confidentiality as far as I can see has not been breached. It is just your insight of the situation as presented at the time and I love reading it. Also thank you for your return comments to me, especially the last, it gave me my smile factor of the day knowing that we can all appreciate how another can feel about the work we do. Keep up the good work. Gill

Ian said...

Please keep up the good work, both on the blog and in the "Day Job"


Xf said...


The BWTS consists of a bunch of people who are expressing their right to free speech through a 'public' forum. I don't agree with some of their rantings and I think their use of pornographic images and extreme language is detrimental to the profession from the public's point of view but that's MY upbringing and opinion.
Ironically, they warn you that if you don't like it, don't moan. Pot, kettle, black?
On the other hand, if you really read the threads, there are a few intelligent arguments and debates and so, on balance, its not as bad as some make it out to be.
I won't get involved with what they are doing and I hope they respect my right to do what I'm doing - like it or not.

Chewie said...

Sir, your blog is an excellent insight into the world you live in for the uninitiated. Keep on trucking

wishing you and your peace, joy, health, love, light, happiness and understanding in a crazy world.

Andy said...

I have been a constant reader of your blog for a while and have the pleasure of working for the Ambulance Service aswell and enjoy reading your experiences.

I've not left a comment before because usually only just about have the time to read over it but felt I needed to comment now!!

I'm glad you take the time and effort to share your working life and experiences with us all.

Keep up the blog and keep up the very good work matey!!