Thursday, 15 March 2012

What is Experience?!

I have a list as long as my arm of blogs I want to write. I can assure you that this wasn't one of them but needs must. Before I started my blog, I had never written a thing. One day I had a rant at my crew mate and he said;
"Seriously, you should write a blog, seeing you that angry was funny as fuck"
So I did! I haven't looked back since. I thoroughly enjoy it and that is why I do it. It's a forum where I can share my feelings openly and that was an outlet I'd never had. I read various blogs beforehand, some of which inspired me to write mine. They can be found in the 'Top Blogs' page on my website. I never thought my blog would become popular and from the outset I said very clearly the purpose of my writing;
"I’m writing this blog to vent frustrations, share experiences, provoke debate and educate people as to what life on the road is like. I don't have the wealth of experience that many do but I don't think you need that much to form opinions. I may have only been on the road for 3 years but in that time I've seen and learnt more than my entire life before that."
I also stated that they were my opinions and didn't represent anyone else. A few weeks ago someone sent me a message on twitter telling me they had just nominated me for the EMS Blog of the Year 2012! I had never even heard about it so it was especially nice to be considered for someone's nomination. Someone liked my ramblings enough to recommend me! After an amazing week of support I got an email from EMS1 to say that I had been shortlisted to the top 10 EMS blogs and voting had now begun. I was honestly gobsmacked and so grateful to everyone who nominated me. I really do feel it is one of my best achievements to date. Today however, I got a rather nasty email from 'Anonymous' which took the edge off what had been an enjoyable couple of days.
"You might be under some illusion that by getting yourself nominated you've earned the right to call yourself a blogger. Let me tell you, you have not. You don't belong in the blogging community, your lack of clinical experience alone makes you ill placed to share your views. You have no place in the EMS blogger of the year competition and I can assure you that you will not win. I don't like your blog, I'll make no secret of that but what I don't like is seeing the writing of others overlooked because you managed to hoodwink your way onto the short list. Just think about that."
OK. I will indeed think about that. I don't care if 'anonymous' doesn't like my blog. As much as it annoyed me, I didn't really care about apparently not being part of the blogging community or having "no place" in the competition. If that's the case then I won't win. I probably won't! I am up against 9 other great blogs; blogs that I myself read and recommend to others. As for this 'blogging community'; I have had guest bloggers, I've written guest blogs, I share other peoples work and have had many discussions with other bloggers on a variety of topics. What one has to do to be accepted I don't know and frankly don't care. If people do like me then great, if not so what. I can't please everyone. I also didn't put myself on the shortlist, others did; that to me is enough to nullify that ill -conceived comment. What did get me really riled was the suggestion that I wasn't experienced enough to write about what I do for a living. It got me thinking a lot about experience and what counts as experience.

I've made it no secret that I'm a student paramedic. I've also made it no secret I've only been on the road 3 years, but does that make me any less qualified to talk about a job that I have done; a job that affected me physically or emotionally, or a patient that I interacted with? Opinions can only ever be based on personal experience and personal feelings. I know for a fact that mine differ from others, that is the point, surely?! That is how a debate occurs. That is how democracy works. That's life! Because I've only worked on ambulances for 3 years can I not talk about the politics of the NHS? I'm not a politician but I have opinions. Experience is relative and constantly evolving. Yes, there are people with 20 years' experience but what if that person stayed in the same role for 20 years; what if they never tried to better themselves, never learned new skills, never moved with the times? In effect their 20 years' experience is just 1 year's experience, repeated 20 times. That's not me. It may be only 3 years but it's been a great 3 years. 3 years where I have learned a lot about myself. I'm not satisfied with the amount I have learnt, nor will I  ever be. If you don't strive to better yourself you'll never gain new experience. That is part of what my blog is about. It is somewhere to reflect; look at the good, look at the bad, look at what can be learnt, and try and dissect what the hell just happened. Yes I'm new to blogging and have a lot to learn. I look back at the first few posts I did and they are in a completely different style to what they are now. I'm learning from my experience. 


As for 'anonymous' whoever you may be:
 "I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." (Monty Python)
 I raise two fingers and blow a raspberry!

I'll make no apologies for my opinions, they are mine and mine alone. Whilst ever I still enjoy it I will keep writing. If you agree with what I write about, leave a comment. If you don't agree, leave a comment. I welcome all opinions, for and against. If you feel like you have no choice but to insult me, please leave a name, even if it's a fake one, so I can give as good as I get! As for the EMS Blog of the Year 2012, you decide. There are 10 great blogs to choose from each with their own unique identities and their own great writers. Whichever one does win will be a more than worthy winner. Obviously, if I don't win, I'd like to see the title come to the UK! Have a read:

Insomniac Medic

Pick your favourite! 


EMS Blog of the Year 2012 - VOTE NOW! 


20 comments:

  1. Hear hear! Your blog is brilliant. Looking back through a few of your posts had me in stitches last night, and all the rest had me nodding sagely in agreement.

    As for the experience element, I think there are a fair few people in our line of work who feel like they already know everything and are completely closed to new experiences, which is bad for all involved. They deserve two fingers and a raspberry blown in their vicinity.

    Keep up the good work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! Massively appreciated!

      Ella x

      Delete
  2. Wow, that email smacks of pure bitter jealousy. And anonymous too. Obviously doesn't believe in their own blog…
    I read your blog avidly. The grammar nazi in me picks up on every spelling mistake, typo, whatever. The "fan" in me gives the grammar nazi a good slap and really gets immersed in your articles. Thank goodness you have opinions! And expressing them with "only" three years experience, well, how very dare you.
    Before I ramble off in full rant mode, I simply want to say, keep on blogging. Your writing is good, your experiences heart-felt and genuine, and a great read. I too had never heard of these awards, but after that non-entity emailed, I'm bloody well voting for you now.
    Cheers, looking forward to your next blog. Fiona (bugger anonymity)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh , 1 negative against how many positives ? Keep up the good work Ella , always read your blogs .

      Delete
    2. Thanks Fiona!

      I know I know! I desperately need a grammer nazi on my shoulder! I read through and read through but thats where my lack of writing experience lets me down! I'm trying to improve! Thanks for the comments! Glad you enjoy and very glad you voted

      Ella x

      Delete
  3. Well fcking said!!!!!!! If someone doesn't like, don't read. If someone doesn't think you have experience they clearly do not live your life or pay attention to your writing. I feel "anonymous" needs to step back, grow a pair and let those that love your blog enjoy it x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gem! I knew you'd jump to my defence! As always thanks for reading and just being lovely!

      x

      Delete
  4. Haha i nearly spat my coffee reading the anonymous message-"YOUR LACK OF CLINICAL EXPERIENCE. . . . . ." is clearly more than enough for your employers,crew mates,other readers and to be fair their comments have a distinct bitter taste,how damm rude! Do NOT let the small minded and completely inaccurate views of one individual bring you to a stop,i for one enjoy your blog,albeit i am no expert,but you provide me with insight into the work of the ambulance service,other trusts and how different people handle different things. I WILL keep reading as long as you blog and have voted for you too,keep up the fab work missy and to hell with Mr/Mrs/Miss anonymous. X

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ok....Im going to have my two penneth also!

    Firstly, for those who may not know me, I am coming into this discussion from a blogging background. I used to write the 999Medic blog which is now archived at medicblog999.wordpress.com and was also the first winner of the Fire and EMS Blog of the year award in 2010. I am not anonymous and was never anonymous during my blogging. I blogged with the full knowledge of my employers (the North East Ambulance Service) and while I was never embraced as such, it was certainly accepted by my Chief Executive and the senior board of the Trust.

    For those that understood my 'goal' of blogging, I was never a threat to the service and certainly never moved in any way to bring the service into disrepute. This was my choice and was ultimately the reason for me ending my blog when I felt that I was getting a little burnt out and I noticed that some negativity was entering into my writing.

    Now, I see the reason for being anonymous for some of the bloggers out there. I understand that it is not a comfortable thought for some to be known to their employers. Being anonymous certainly allows you to write exactly what you want and to tell the whole truth about the good and bad points of an ambulance service.

    My concern with some of your posts is that if you are ever found out, I think it will be very hard for you to last an investigation into 'bringing LAS into disrepute'. Some may say that this is brave of you, I however have a slightly different point of view and this is purely down to spending 2 years and 500,000 words (approximately) trying to show the North East Ambulance Service and other Ambulance Services around the country, that blogging and bloggers is nothing to be afraid of.

    Justin (the Happy Medic) and I were even flown out to Denver, to speak at the Zoll Summit on the benefit that social media and blogging can have in EMS.

    One thing is for sure and cannot be brought into question...This is YOUR blog. No-one can tell you what to write and what not to write. The fact that you are only 3 years into your career has nothing to do with it; in fact it is what gives you the insight to see some of the things that longer serving members of the service will not. If anything, being new to the job makes your insights more interesting. The fact that you are a talented writer is also not lost on me or many of your readers.

    However, as an EMS blogger, and one with an apparently growing following, I believe you have a responsibility to both yourself as a new Paramedic, your fellow EMS professionals, your service and most importantly your patients to be professional in both your offline and online world.

    It is easy to rant, it is much more difficult to ensure that what you put out onto a blog is informative, entertaining, challenging but still within the boundaries of what you will find is acceptable to those of us (past tense for me) who are active in the community.

    You can of course ignore everything I have written and I hope you don't take this the wrong way.

    I had intended to drop you a couple of emails regarding past posts (more to be the conscious on your shoulder that says "should you really have put that post up"), but the comment made by anonymous made me want to pitch in a little.

    Good luck with what you do, but you should know that you are not as anonymous as you may think you are.

    Tread and write carefully, and I am sure you will make a valued addition to the blogosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for your comment! Always appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wouldn't say I'm an avid blog reader, however I do believe im able to make my own mind up about what i read. And personally I really enjoy your blog. Annonamous obviously is a sad lonely individual who gets thier kicks out of trying to belittle people. Keep up the great blog.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This was sent but for some reason wouldn't show on the blog! I'll post it again for @UKMedic999

    Ok....Im going to have my two penneth also!

    Firstly, for those who may not know me, I am coming into this discussion from a blogging background. I used to write the 999Medic blog which is now archived at medicblog999.wordpress.com and was also the first winner of the Fire and EMS Blog of the year award in 2010. I am not anonymous and was never anonymous during my blogging. I blogged with the full knowledge of my employers (the North East Ambulance Service) and while I was never embraced as such, it was certainly accepted by my Chief Executive and the senior board of the Trust.

    For those that understood my 'goal' of blogging, I was never a threat to the service and certainly never moved in any way to bring the service into disrepute. This was my choice and was ultimately the reason for me ending my blog when I felt that I was getting a little burnt out and I noticed that some negativity was entering into my writing.

    Now, I see the reason for being anonymous for some of the bloggers out there. I understand that it is not a comfortable thought for some to be known to their employers. Being anonymous certainly allows you to write exactly what you want and to tell the whole truth about the good and bad points of an ambulance service.

    My concern with some of your posts is that if you are ever found out, I think it will be very hard for you to last an investigation into 'bringing LAS into disrepute'. Some may say that this is brave of you, I however have a slightly different point of view and this is purely down to spending 2 years and 500,000 words (approximately) trying to show the North East Ambulance Service and other Ambulance Services around the country, that blogging and bloggers is nothing to be afraid of.

    Justin (the Happy Medic) and I were even flown out to Denver, to speak at the Zoll Summit on the benefit that social media and blogging can have in EMS.

    One thing is for sure and cannot be brought into question...This is YOUR blog. No-one can tell you what to write and what not to write. The fact that you are only 3 years into your career has nothing to do with it; in fact it is what gives you the insight to see some of the things that longer serving members of the service will not. If anything, being new to the job makes your insights more interesting. The fact that you are a talented writer is also not lost on me or many of your readers.

    However, as an EMS blogger, and one with an apparently growing following, I believe you have a responsibility to both yourself as a new Paramedic, your fellow EMS professionals, your service and most importantly your patients to be professional in both your offline and online world.

    It is easy to rant, it is much more difficult to ensure that what you put out onto a blog is informative, entertaining, challenging but still within the boundaries of what you will find is acceptable to those of us (past tense for me) who are active in the community.

    You can of course ignore everything I have written and I hope you don't take this the wrong way.

    I had intended to drop you a couple of emails regarding past posts (more to be the conscious on your shoulder that says "should you really have put that post up"), but the comment made by anonymous made me want to pitch in a little.

    Good luck with what you do, but you should know that you are not as anonymous as you may think you are.

    Tread and write carefully, and I am sure you will make a valued addition to the blogosphere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I certainly won't ignore anything you have said and i've taken it in the spirit I think it was meant. I know it's easy to rant and i'm aware on some occasions I have probably over stepped the line. That, I will try and correct and learn from and I have e-mailed you regarding that.

      I have a lot to learn and am very keen to do so. I would like my blog to be everything you suggested it should be to colleagues, patients and the service alike.

      Regarding my anonymity, clearly some know who I am and clearly they have told others! I am assuming thats what prompted you to say what you said. I'm disappointed that the handful of people who know have told others but in light of that, i'll take onboard and act on any suggestions you may have. I certainly don't want to bring the service into disrepute nor do I want to act outside of any code of conduct or code of ethics for which I am obliged to adhere to.

      Thank you again for you comment. I honestly appreciate your input into this particular discussion and my blog as whole, especially with the standing you had / have within the blogging community.

      Ella

      Delete
  9. What an idiot. It sounds like something copied off Eastenders, it's that ridiculous. Free speech and the freedom to have your own opinions are rights for everyone, not something you have to 'earn the right' to express. Your blog is brilliant, and deals very well with the issues faced by front-line staff, illustrating them clearly for people who don't know about them (like me :)). That's a very important job, and you do it very well - I love what you write, and I'm fairly sure my opinion counts, even though I've only been blogging for 4 months. Keep up the good work, and I don't see any reason why you can't win. Oh, and enjoy it, that's the important bit! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Appreciate the comment! I'll continue until I don't enjoy it!

      Delete
  10. I am a fairly new visitor to your blog but since discovering it on twitter if I have a spare moment I try to catch up on all your previous posts (I'm getting there!). I do the same job, I experience the same frustrations and I witness simial events. Your blog has the ability to make me laugh out loud and even well up with tears, I feel angry on your behalf and proud of a job done well. This is all because of your fantastic writing, to instill someone with emotion with nothing more than words is talent and should be recognised. Keep blogging, keep entertaining me and goodluck with the award. As for anonymous, well all I can say is the very fact the have remained anonymous says it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Girl In Green! Always nice to read comments like this! I'll continue to try and make you laugh / cry!

      Delete
  11. As a blogger, we're open to criticism from the public. About a year ago I had a dream that was very instructive. In a dream, people were leaving comments on the things I posted. Most of the comments were positive, but a few were negative. In the dream I knew I had to keep posting my messages for the sake of those who were helped by what they read.

    You can learn a bit from sincere and constructive critics (and I have) but ones like you mentioned are better off ignored.

    Keep going and good luck in the contest.

    Praying Medic

    ReplyDelete
  12. I write and am devastated every time someone gets upset by my views, it is only natural to be hurt by spiteful remarks. If it helps put it down to the same bitterness as the village clique show when a newbue steals the first prize for jam making. :)

    Keep it up and good luck with the award!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! All bloggers do! If you have something to say, agree or disagree I would love to hear it! I will reply to all! (or try my very best!) If however, you're a troll, save your breath!

Due to an increase in spam I moderate comments but ALL genuine comments will be posted. See above exclusions!