Tuesday 28 February 2012

Wearing Green & Living the Dream......

"25 year old female living the dream"

What is the dream? Is it even a dream? Maybe it's just a perception! People see the ambulance service with an air of glory, they see you flying through the streets with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring. Every job we go to is a dead person in urgent need of revival or a traumatic cardiac arrest. We save lives, we are heroes, we are an elite group of well trained medical professionals. If you join the ambulance service you'll be in for real excitement and could make a real difference in the lives of everyone you see. You will be treated with respect and not abused by the public because you are ambulance staff, not the police. Everyone loves the ambulance. It could be middle of the day or middle of the night, you call 999 and we will be there in no more than 8 minutes. Whatever is wrong, we will fix it. That's what we do!

Sadly, it isn't! Far from it. Sure, we help people and we save people but for the amount of work we do it isn't many. I love my job, I real do but I have a thick skin and I'm not squeamish. It can be a great job but before you consider this path you should know the truth. All of things on the list below have happened to me since I joined the service, in fact, most have occurred in the past month or so and will continue to occur on a regular basis for the rest of my career. This is what they don't put in the advert!

  • I have been verbally abused.
  • I have been punched.
  • I have been kicked.
  • I have been spat at.
  • I have been hospitalised by a patient.
  • I have been flashed.
  • I have been threatened.
  • I have had blood in my eye.
  • I have been vomited on.
  • I have been pissed on
  • I have worked 84 hour weeks.
  • I work for 12 hours without a break.
  • I worked 7/10 weekends for 2 years.
  • I got divorced because of it.
  • I now work 5/10 weekends.
  • I work night shifts.
  • I have my weekends midweek.
  • I have spent Christmas with violent alcoholics.
  • I have no social life.
  • I have knelt in urine.
  • I have knelt in poo.
  • I have seen dead people.
  • I have picked up body parts.
  • I have watched people die.
  • I have held a dead child.
  • I have held a dead baby.
  • I have had knifes pulled on me.
  • I have had tampons thrown at me. 
  • I have insomnia.
  • I have a terrible diet.
  • If I want hot food on shift it's fast food only.
  • I have seen people fake their injuries.
  • I have seen open heart massage at the road side.
  • I have seen mutilated bodies.
  • I have worked 17 hour shifts with no break.
  • I don't feel valued as an employee.
  • I fear going off sick.
  • I'm exposed to many infectious diseases.
  • I've seen neglect and depravity.
  • I pick up drunk people every day.
  • I have knelt in brain matter.
  • I have seen bones sticking out of limbs.
  • I have seen an arterial blood spray.
  • I have felt helpless.
  • I go to time wasters every day. 
  • I would say 90% of people don't need an ambulance.
  • I know I'm at the bottom of the NHS food chain.

On the other side of the coin, I went to a 92 year old last night who had fallen down some stairs. She had no injuries and she refused hospital. I got her up off the floor, made her a cup of tea and chatted to her for 20 minutes. As I was about to leave, she stood up and hugged me. She then said thank you. That's why I love my job. That is wearing green and living the dream.


  1. Awwwwwwwwww bless the 92 year old lady!! You always manage to make me giggle AND almost cry in one blog post, can't imagine some of the horrors you have seen/experienced truly not sure I could handle half of it. Is it wrong I laughed at the "I have seen dead people" because it made me think of The Sixth Sense??

    1. Well I don't mean to make you cry! You sixth sense comment made me laugh!! Very true! I didn't know if I could handle it when I started but when you're there you're not focussed on the horrible stuff. Once the job is over you're on to the next and after 12 hours you can hardly remember most of the people you've seen. It can feel inpersonal but I suppose it's a barrier you put up so not to get emotional involved. See it as a problem to fix rather than a sick person and it's easier! Obviously sometimes that isn't possible and it gets to you! Thanks for reading as always!

      Ella x

  2. When I was on holiday in Cornwall, we had to take my wife to A&E after an accident. Whilst waiting to go in, paramedics brought in a lovely old dear in her 80s who'd falled, smashed her face in good and proper and had ripped loads of skin of her face, to expose underlying tissue and she was dripping blood. I was trying to distract my son by reading a book whilst my wife got sorted and the old dear was profusely apologising to the paramedics for wasting his time(!) ... meanwhile Kylie and Shane were arguing with the receptionist about methadone.

    As the old dear sat next to me and was listening to my son read We struck up a conversation, turns out she was a teacher before retirement and she was far more interested in listening to my five year old read than in her (quite obviously painful) injuries. She referred again to wasting time and I had to tell her to stop being so stupid and that the paramedics were probably grateful for a proper job with someone in genuine need.

    1. I love these people! They are the ones who need us and who we could go to all day every day, but they are the ones who question whether or not to call because they don't want to be a burdon. Such a shame. Some leave it too late. Thanks for reading

      Ella x

  3. And this is why Ambo & the Fuzz get on so well. Shared sentiments, similar & shared incident. Blue is only a different shade of green !
    Keep the faith, & stay safe, to all Ambods out there !

    1. Thank you! And that is so true! I have recently applied to be a Special with the Met so I will hopefully be blue too!

  4. Just found your blog. Totally brilliant. And I echo Active Message

  5. Great post again.


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