Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance

Blood, Sweat, and Tea: Real-Life Adventures in an Inner-City Ambulance

by Tom Reynolds

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Overview

An alluring mix of humor, bravery, cynicism, and compassion." --London Daily Telegraph

It's the stuff of Grey's Anatomy, House, and ER--only these events aren't unfolding on a Hollywood soundstage.

Have you ever wondered what's going on inside the ambulance screaming past you during your rush-hour commute? Since 2003, Tom Reynolds (writing under an alias so as not to get sacked from his job), has kept a blog where he chronicles the day-in, day-out realities of his life on the job as an EMT with the London Ambulance Service.

By turns both poignant and profound, Reynolds's writing captures the very essence of life and death. From the mundane to the surreal, from the heartwarming to the cynical, from the calm to the frenetic, more than 300 entries from his popular blog at randomreality.blogware.com are included in the book.

Dear Mr. Alcoholic:

Would you mind awfully not swearing at me, taking a swing at me, or exposing yourself to me? I have quite enough abuse from the nondrunks out there. . . . Still, at least your fists are easy to dodge, and if I stop holding you up, you fall over.

The author's hugely popular blog, Random Acts of Reality, has been named Medgadget Best Medical Blog and Best Literary Medical Blog.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780740788970
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 01/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 970,973
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

On July 22, 2003, an emergency medical technician living in London began writing a blog under the pseudonym Tom Reynolds. One mention by a writer for the Guardian and that blog has changed his life—with more people coming to know him as Tom Reynolds than as Brian Kellett.

Author's web site: http://randomreality.blogware.com/blog

Customer Reviews

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Blood, Sweat, and Tea 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 188 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With the popularity of Blogs on the rise, and the critical success of recent books and movies adapted from online journals, the number of Blogs reprinted into book form is increasing steadily. The rush to fill any growing market usually dictates quantity over quality, and this can often make it difficult to find the exceptional materials mixed in among the shelf-fillers. Blood, Sweat & Tea is one of those few excellent translations from the Internet to the book shelf, and is well worth the search. The book launches straight into the daily diary entries from Tom Reynolds¿ blog (randomreality.blogware.com/blog) without any real setup or introduction, and it is a credit to the clarity and honesty of his writing that this is not a setback to enjoying the book. No real explanation is needed beyond the blurb on the back cover. Blood, Sweat & Tea is a collection of daily online diary entries by Reynolds concerning his experiences as an emergency medical technician working for the London Ambulance Service in East London. Reynolds¿ recaps of his time on the job clearly illustrate the ups and downs that go with such a demanding yet unappreciated vocation. He shares it all: humorous stories of false alarms and bizarre incidents, nerve-wracking brushes with the potential hazards of the job (such as the risk of exposure to HIV infected patients), frustrations concerning the politics and red tape behind the scenes of the medical services, and the emotional toll of dealing with life and death on a daily basis. Never overly preachy, snarky, or flippant, Blood, Sweat & Tea is a tour through the trenches of on-site medical response units in the UK that will entertain and inform any and all interested in the topic.
sallysuerae More than 1 year ago
This book is a good read as long as you go into it knowing that it is really just a collection of blog posts. This means you can't expect the same writing style you would get with a book. The "chapters" are very short and the writing is as you would expect with a blog - that is to say, kind of "quick and dirty," not crafted with as much precision as a book usually is. However, the material is very interesting. This book is a first hand account of an ambulance worker in Britain, and as such is a good read if you are interested in that kind of thing.
Nurse_WannaBe More than 1 year ago
For anyone in the medical profession, this would be a humorous take on the patient. Patients often complain about the medical profession, now the medical profession gets to fire back! Written by the British equivalent of an EMT on the London Ambulance Service, this witty and often sarcastic blog about his adventures in the up and down world of emergency medicine. I laughed and I almost cried, especially when he wrote about the death of children. Definitely worth reading and the price isn't bad either!
Daniel Lelsz More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the humor and the humanity.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a most unexpected pleasure. The chapters are short, so you can read for a short time, or longer if you want. Tom is funny and makes you feel like you've know him forever. For sure, a great read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I rather enjoyed the way it is written. Short and to the point. I had to read it the whole way through. I guess I have much of the same ideals. Thanks for sharing your experiences!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It a blog put into book form. Easy to read, entries not long. Some posts made me laugh, some cry. Learned a little about how US and British health care differs.
LuckyVA More than 1 year ago
This is a Blog collection by a British EMT. There is humor, frustration, and success. It is interesting for the similiarities and differences in the EMS protocols and language. EMTs will find this entertaining and interesting.
Mari76 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. But be warned: It is a blog, not a novel. The chapters aren't connected in any meaningful way, but they aren't meant to be. It can get a bit repetitive, but this is understandable since these are things he encounters everyday. I loved the insight into the life of a paramedic. I will definitely read this again.
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
For the most part, I enjoyed this book. After a while, it started to get boring, so maybe it was just a bit too long.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, had I been reading this in its original format, it would have been far easier to complete. Pacing, form, and grammer spurned me to skip in places far too many times than I would have liked but it was interesting to see the life of an EMT in their own honest (and sometimes harsh) words.
SweetSilence85 More than 1 year ago
Easy read, kept me wanting more so I found it hard to put the book down. It made me feel like I was there with him on his journey. I recommend this blog-esque type book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up watching a lot of medical dramas, so the subject matter of this book appealed to me. Add in the blogger style and i was so hooked, i convinced my mother (a nurse) to read it as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
441 pages Not a bad deal if you are in the ambulance part of the medical field but it is by a Londoner and gets a bit boring as you continue. May be of interest to the many wonderful people working in this field but I just did not keep going. The honesty of the daily routine and hassles these people go through is a bit interesting if you've never been exposed to it.**
SandyDC More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed ER in the early years, you will enjoy this book. A collection of blogs, with good humor and good story telling
RunningWithScalpels More than 1 year ago
Being in the health field, this was right up my alley AND because the writer is a Brit, all the British language and humor was a plus, as I'm a sucker for it. There's a sequel, which I am eager to devour, and this has evidentally been turned into a TV show in the UK, so I hope Netflix is able to get their grubby mitts on it soon :)
Heptonj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent insight into the working life of a medical professional. Some of the stories are pretty unbelievable and, sorry, very entertaining. However, it is reassuring to know that at least one of our 'caring services' really do care. Well worth the read and very hard to put down.
shadowella on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It is good if you read the blog. Easy enough to pick up and put down.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This seems to be a new phenomena. Transcribing blogs so that they get a wider audience. This is not a bad thing. This is the EMT part of Tom Reynold's Blog. Much of it is the sort of things people are gagging to hear in a pub when someone reveals that they work in the Ambulance service. It's full of humour (he is an equal opportunities bigot, he hates every equally) and pathos (Victims brought me to tears) and it really made me think about the Ambulance service. I subscribed to his blog almost immediately, his rants have the ability to make to sit back and take notice.Well worth reading, even if it's something you don't do or you're squeamish. Yes there are gory parts, but that's life.
ireed110 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blood, Sweat, and Tea by Tom Reynolds (a pseudonym - the author's real name is Brian Kellet) is a collection of entries from his Blog, Random Acts of Reality.. In some cases, he has added additional comments that bring home his point or provide a little "what happened next."This was an enjoyable book, a fairly fast read. It was actually nice to learn that a London ambulance driver's patients are much the same as pretty much any patient I've encountered here in the US as a nurse - which is to say, I guess, that they're all human and subject to the same fears and frailties. This is a very good blog, but I wish there had been more than that to the book. Mr Reynolds would have done well to re-organize these posts into chapters, each of which told a story or underscored the points he wanted to make. As is, it's a hodgepodge of experiences that may accurately reflect his day-to-day job but that do not accurately reflect the nature of his work. It is clear that Mr Reynolds is both witty and kind. He insists that he is a misanthrope, but his actions speak louder than his words. He claims repeatedly that he "hates everyone equally," but all of his patients get the care that they need and deserve. It's nice to know we have men like him out there.
verbafacio on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blood, Sweat, and Tea is an interesting, quick read. In it, Tom Reynolds (a pseudonym) describes his time spent in the London Ambulance Service. The good: Tom is a funny, interesting writer. Whether he is ranting or describing a sad case, he is able to connect with the reader. After reading his entries, I feel like I have a much better understanding of the NHS and London culture as a whole.The bad: This books is basically a simple repackaging of Tom's blog, Random Acts of Reality. Some of the posts have brief introductions or comments, but really, very little is added. In a few annoying places, he refers to comments left on the blog, which he doesn't include. He also refers to other posts that he does not include. This can be frustrating. Also, the book is not organized in any way. It would be more helpful and satisfying if Tom used his blog posts as a starting point and then divided up the book into themes, perhaps with additional commentary or stories. As it is, I find this book hit or miss. You would get a more complete understanding of the LAS world by simply reading the blog.
reverends on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With the popularity of Blogs on the rise, and the critical success of recent books and movies adapted from online journals, the number of Blogs reprinted into book form is increasing steadily. The rush to fill any growing market usually dictates quantity over quality, and this can often make it difficult to find the exceptional materials mixed in among the shelf-fillers. Blood, Sweat & Tea is one of those few excellent translations from the Internet to the book shelf, and is well worth the search. The book launches straight into the daily diary entries from Tom Reynolds¿ blog (randomreality.blogware.com/blog) without any real setup or introduction, and it is a credit to the clarity and honesty of his writing that this is not a setback to enjoying the book. No real explanation is needed beyond the blurb on the back cover.Blood, Sweat & Tea is a collection of daily online diary entries by Reynolds concerning his experiences as an emergency medical technician working for the London Ambulance Service in East London. Reynolds¿ recaps of his time on the job clearly illustrate the ups and downs that go with such a demanding yet unappreciated vocation. He shares it all: humorous stories of false alarms and bizarre incidents, nerve-wracking brushes with the potential hazards of the job (such as the risk of exposure to HIV infected patients), frustrations concerning the politics and red tape behind the scenes of the medical services, and the emotional toll of dealing with life and death on a daily basis.Never overly preachy, snarky, or flippant, Blood, Sweat & Tea is a tour through the trenches of on-site medical response units in the UK that will entertain and inform any and all interested in the topic.
ees4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book from the Early Reviewer's club. While this isn't a book I would normally select for myself to read, I am so happy I stumbled upon it. All I can say is what an interesting book! I really like how Mr. Reynolds included a variety of blogs throughout the book. The content ranged from sad, to depressing, to informative, to just plain hilarious. Mr. Reynolds has a fantastic sense of humor, which makes the book highly entertaining.
manatree on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
another "commuter bus read"I tried to finish this book, but I couldn't. Perhaps I will try again at a later date. I have read blogs, and I have read journals/diaries. However, this is the first book based on a blog that I have read. This book was just too disjointed for me to get into. No flow whatsoever. I don't know if it is a result of the blog format or the author. Perhaps better selection of which blogs to include in the book might have helped. I got the feeling that some story lines/threads were missing some key parts. It did have some interesting and humorous bits, but just couldn't sustain.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great and interesting look at the work life of an ambulance driver in inner city London. The narrator is incredibly likable and his job is infinitely interesting. The people he meets and works with are all different. I loved the insiders look at what it is like to be an ambulance drivers.