Thursday 14 February 2013

Me, Myself and Ambulances

"27 year old female, bored, hacked off, fed up and tired"

This is my blog. I have have been writing it for about 15 months and it has helped me no end. It gives me focus at work, it has made me a better clinician and has helped my health in a number of ways. I may be opinionated, I may be judgemental and I may be hot headed but that is my way of venting about what I see. This blog isn't real life. Look on it as a work of fiction if you will loosely based on real events. 

I'm bored of having to tell a select few people that I AM NOT breaching patient confidentiality when I write. I'm not stupid. I would never write anything which could be linked back to specific person. 

I'm fed up with people leaving insults and threats because they disagree with me. If you have a different opinion, share it. Ask me a question. Don't spit feathers at me, don't climb on a high horse and get all your mates to leave similar comments and don't patronise me.

I'm hacked off with having to write this post to explain myself AGAIN. I have never received a complaint letter. I have received plenty of thank you letters. I have received commendations. I act professionally at ALL times and treat ALL others how I'd like to be treated.

I'm tired of losing sleep because of trolls, bullies, intimidators and those that threaten me. No more. Until now I have never blocked anyone on twitter and I have never deleted a comment on my blog. That ends today. I'm not taking crap from a tiny, tiny minority. It may only be about 5 people who have moaned out of the 70,000 who have viewed by blog this month but it's those 5 that have ruined various days and various much needed sleeps. 

So, to everyone who is unclear and thinks I'm full of hatred, classist, unprofessional, discriminatory and whatever other term of endearment you can come up with, this is ME from the 'about me' page on my blog. Read it, absorb it and if you don't like me, or my blog please please please go away and don't come back. 

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

My name is Ella Shaw. I work on ambulances somewhere between Lands End & John O'Groats and in my spare time, own a 5 year old boy. 

Ambulances: I didn't always want to do this. I'm not going to lie and say it was something I dreamt of, in fact, until I saw the advert in 2008 the thought hadn't crossed my mind. I suppose I applied on a whim; just looking for something to get me out of the dead end 9-5 I'd been in. To my amazement I got the job. I completed my training and off I went into the big wide world of ambulances, and I haven't looked back since. It was by far the best decision I have ever made.

I have always been the type of person that questions right and wrong and in this job you experience a lot of both: politics at local level, government policy, patient behaviour, staff attitudes, life or death and everything in the middle, and I find myself asking questions. Invariably that involves an indignant rant and grumble but that's me. I'm a full time cynic, part time pessimist and a conspiracy theorist at weekends. I love a good moan but I can't stand moaners. That's my right. Deal with it.

The Boy: The boy means everything to me, part of why I wanted this job was to have a career to support him, the security of a job that will always be needed and the regular salary and pension to provide for him. I am immensely proud of him, he is funny, intelligent and happy. He has also sleeps through the night which has helped with shift work! He is a huge part of my life and when you ask him what I do he replies
"My mummy is a paramedic, she works on the ambulances and looks after the ouch. And if someone falls of their bike you call 999 and my mum comes. And looks after the ouch."
Need I say anymore!

The Blog: I’m writing this blog to vent frustrations, share experiences, provoke debate and educate people as to what life is really like on the road as I see it. I don't have the wealth of experience that many do but I don't think you need that so much to form opinions. I may have only been on the road for 4 years or so but in that time I've seen and learnt more than my entire life before that. I’m lucky enough to have a great job; I work with great people and strive to be the best I possibly can be for my patients. Some patients were sent to test me, some were sent to amuse me and some just baffle me, and despite my ramblings I generally look forward to work each day. I love my job. 

All my blogs are loosely BASED on real experiences and feelings, though I do use poetic license to protect the identity of my patients, their families and my colleagues. All names, ages, nationalities and locations have been changed as to uphold their anonymity. Please do not read a post and think that I am talking about an actual patient. I use my experiences to create a post to express how I felt at the time or how I feel about a certain topic. It's my way of dealing with what I see. All opinions shared are mine and mine alone. I hope you enjoy reading and welcome any comments and opinions. That said, there is a big difference between offering a different opinion and having a debate, to trolling, bullying and threatening me. That WILL NOT be tolerated. I am not representing any particular ambulance service (I work for 3) or any professional body. 

You can also follow me on Twitter @diagnosisLOB or join me on my Facebook page. If you don't like what I have to say, don't read it. I will make no apologies for my opinions. Though I welcome all comments, good and bad, if you over step the line, insult, patronise or get all high and mighty on me, your comment will be deleted. I write this blog for me and the people who enjoy it. It's that simple!

Thanks for taking the time to read,

Ella x


  1. You tell 'em Ella.

    You rock. You are educating people. And people who try to shout you down and shut you up just don't get what you are about.

    Now move on, nothing to see here, get back to being fricking awesome.

    1. Hear! Hear!

    2. Beautifully put Big Fashionista - couldn't have put it better myself!

    3. Dear Big Fashionista

      I love you. The end.

      Ella x

    4. Denise:

      Thank you! Isn't she fab!

  2. Hear hear, to those that one! The rest of us look forward to reading these blogs and hope that in an emergency 'Ella' will be the one who turns up!

  3. Hi Ella, I have long been a fan of ur writing and have witnessed the harassment/trolls that you have endured. You have always conducted yourself with dignity and your patience has been great. I'm sorry that the behaviour of few has caused you lost sleep, and am pleased that you have made the decision to put up with it no longer! You deserve respect & gratitude, not abuse.
    Thank you for sharing your day to day with us, and I look forward to reading more.

    Oh, and I just love your lil boys description of your job, so cute!

    Keep up the great work Ella!

  4. Don't let the narrow minded minority get you down girl. I love the blog & share it with my work mates regularly, (we'r in the same proffession & sympathise with you whole heatedly)!!

  5. Hey Ella...

    The minority are utter, utter idiots who sit at home, watch Casualty, Holby City etc and think this makes them experts... Don't feed the trolls and they'll go and get feed somewhere else eventually.

    I will always remain grateful to those who respond in my hour of need... I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for ambulance staff (I've worked in ambulances, struggled to save a life and treated patients on 3 different continents - until injury spoilt it all). Remember there are those who are grateful and they vastly outnumber the trolls.


  6. Dearest trolls,
    Please find somewhere else to troll!
    Might I suggest under a bridge?

    Ella rocks. As someone else said DO ONE!

  7. Hey Ella,

    Don't let them get you down huni, more often your blog says what so many others are thinking or even saying in the messroom. Your entitled to your opinion, ive never seen you break patient confidentiality and your most certainly professional. Some people try their best to get to people, but you haven't done anything wrong, rise above them.

    I myself have been working for the ambulance service for little over a year, the last six months with a new trust, I have previously considered talking to management about setting up my own blog, but similar for you, not for views, replies or comments, not for awards, simply as a way of tracking my professional progress, sharing the highs and lows but venting my frustrations and questions....however, I think people need to know that doing a blog like this isn't simple.....put one toe out of line, make a stupid comment and your trust may well be likely to come down like a tonne of bricks!
    I think I need more experience before I consider a blog properly, for now I think saving a few stories on paper will have to do.

    Keep it up!

  8. Ella,

    If you write a public blog, you have to be able to accept comments and opinions of others?
    A public blog really isn't the place to 'vent' your frustrations. The place for that is in supervision. We a use this space to address any issues we have and how our personal opinions and views are affecting our work. If you don't feel you have any prejudice, you will be the first person working in our field that doesn't. I'm not part of any 'group' or bullying tactics, please don't be so defensive. As health and social care professionals we should be able to debate. As a paramedic, you are really on the frontline and understand your need to unwind, but just maybe you could think about talking to a friend or collegue. Your blog is interesting, but please, less of the content about personal details, clothing, what programme they are watching. Is it really necessary? For a balanced view, surely it's better to have all comments? Up to you though, it's your life.

    1. Agreed, comments and different opinions I do accept. I reply to all comments good or bad and I've never said my opinions don't affect how I feel about people. But, I always conduct myself professionally and treat all patients with respect and courtesy.

      People blog for different reasons and want different things from writing. For me, venting frustrations is something I use my blog for. I enjoy debate and want different opinions, like yours on what blogging is. What I don't like is threats and abuse. That isn't constructive.

      The way I write is I set the scene and I think that peoples appearance is important to paint any picture. But that's me, I think the more description available the people can picture exactly what i'm seeing and describing. You are correct, for a balanced view all comments are better and I have never deleted a comment until last night where I deleted one. I don't intend ti censor other opinions, only abuse.

      I appreciate what you're saying and I will look at what im writing and think again if certain descriptions are necessary but describing a scene is a huge part of how I write. And remember, my posts are only influenced by jobs. What I will try and do is make my descriptions less bias. Thank you for the comment.


  9. Your blog is brilliant! It's witty and truthful . It's also changed how I see the ambulance service, I don't automatically think which poor soul are they going too. I now think is that a real emergency or a time waster? I wouldn't change who you are or how you write, no DPA is being breached and as mentioned you use artistic license.

    Trolling, trolls and idiots will always be there, I agree that you shouldn't have to put up with it.

    Keep up the excellent writing!!!

    1. Can I just agree. I thought highly of ambulance staff before,and of other emergency services. But now I respect you folks so much more.

  10. Good for you Ella, don't let the idiots get you down.
    Sadly in the public domain you will always attract them.
    I love your blog and don't find it offensive at all.
    Best wishes.

  11. Ella, I agree with almsot all the comments above, yours is a great blog that helps you stay mentally healthy in a very tiring & stressful job, it helps educate the public as to what is really going on, and is often as humourous as it is scary.

    Keep up the great work and the great blogging! As a naval senior rate once told me 'Non Illegitima Carborundum' Don't let the bastards grind you down

  12. Good for you Ella. You shouldn't have to stand for any shit on YOUR blog. Yes, it's always good to get a bit of healthy debate going but people who can't be civil when they disagree need to bugger off. There are ways of saying things. I think you rock, so there!

  13. I know that in your business its probably necessary for a lot of you to remain as "anonymous", but I have blocked anonymous comments on my blog as most of those I had were either links to websites or just plain rubbish. I noticed that any of the offensive comments on your blog were posted by people hiding behind the anonymous tag. I cant understand why people feel the need to argue with your common sense view of what you see and think. Well done, keep it up.

    1. I know, problem is 95% of anonymous comments are positive!

  14. Ella, I haven't seen ANYTHING on your blog that would bring your profession into disrepute. I think that lots of management types will be horrified that the public gets this sneak peek inside what goes on. OF COURSE they'd far rather you kept it all nice and quiet and only spoke up in supervision, like all those at Stafford.

  15. A blog being open to the public is no excuse for threats or nastiness.

    Next you'll try to tell us violence is all part of a Paramedic or Technicians job...


  16. Ella, please do not ever change the way you write your blog. It is informative & gives an insight to the everyday work of a paramedic, in a humorous yet serious viewpoint, keep up the good work.

  17. Love the blog. You're totally right. I also think only someone who works in this field, or a similar field with long shifts and contact with people from all walks of life will understand to a point: I think blogs are so important to educate the general public, which is why I was so gutted when neenaw stopped. They allow you to vent, but they also give readers an insight into a job that is probably only about 30% saving lives. Some of my friends don't believe some of the crap we get sent to, all because of red tape of a caller who knows the answers to the questions.

    Keep up the great work :-)

  18. I've just recently discovered your blog and I really enjoy reading it, the way you write is excellent. There are always going to be people that disagree with things you write that's all part of it, but thats no reason for them to write personal, spiteful comments or threats.

    You really do write a well, informative and interesting blog, just ignore the moaning haters and trolls they're not worth worrying about. Keep up the good work and keep writing you obviously care alot about the job you do.

  19. I hate the trolls, they really are pointless and I am pleased that you have decided to block them. I am a member of a couple of facebook groups for widows, I find it hard to believe that we get trolls and trouble makers in there from time to time. Their comments are soon removed and they are deleted from the group.

    I suppose it takes all sorts, and when we come across them online, it is easy to remove them from our lives. If only it was that easy in real life.

    I am new to your blog, and love it. Keep up the good work, online and in the course of your duties.

  20. I find the added detail is what draws me into the posting and paints such a vivid picture for me. As you say, it is your blog that serves a purpose for you, you should not feel pressured to change it because it annoys a few folk. They could always chose not to read it.

  21. Go Ella Go!

    This blog is one of the many I was jealous about, reading your experiences as a Paramedic while I was applying to university wanting to be the one who was living the dream, doing some of the jobs that you've done, and I am finally here!

    Blogs like yours and others make people see the real world, see that it isn't all 999, emergency, cardiac arrest, Holby city, casualty trauma. The ambulance service goes to a lot of crap which does grind clinicians and ambulance staffs gears and your blog is one of many that show the ambulance service in the true light. If people can't understand that you are a professional, and blogging is your escape, reflection and learning then sorry they need to find somewhere else to troll.

    Keep up the good work because I will miss the blogs otherwise!

    J x

  22. Hi Ella.

    Really excellent blog and like everyone else so glad I stumbled across it because it is what the frontline are telling me too. I work for a major Ambulance Service Trade Union, UNISON, and have just submitted a report into the Welsh Govt as our consultation response to the current review of Amb Services across Wales. In particular we have gone in hard on A8 and I have quoted from a blog you wrote on A8 targets and credited your blog. I would like to share a copy with you for interest (if you want) but have no way of e-mailing you. If you would like a copy do e-mail me at

    Keep up the great work
    Cheers Darron

  23. The rest of us look forward to reading these blogs and hope that in an emergency 'Ella' will be the one who turns up!
    Glyn Willmoth


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!