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Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance [Paperback]

Tom Reynolds
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (618 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

28 May 2009

A beautifully written insight into the stresses, strains and successes of working for the London Ambulance service.

Is there anyone who hasn't wondered about the state of the occupant of an ambulance, screaming along with its sirens on and blue lights flashing? Have you? And have you wondered about the other people inside the ambulance, maybe fighting to save the patient's life? Or have you considered that the ambulance may be another 'maternataxi' ordered by a woman who can't be bothered to book a real cab and who then complains she can't smoke on the way to hospital? And that the medical technician inside might just be desperate to get back home from a busy shift, to have a cup of tea and catch up with his blog?

Meet Tom Reynolds. Tom is an Emergency Medical Technician who works for the London Ambulance Service in East London. He has kept a blog of his daily working life since 2003 and his award-winning writing is, by turn, moving, cynical, funny, heart-rending and compassionate. It is never less than compelling.

From the tragic to the hilarious, from the heartwarming to the terrifying, the stories Tom tells give a fascinating - and at times alarming - picture of life in inner-city Britain, and the people who are paid to mop up after it.

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Frequently Bought Together

Blood, Sweat and Tea: Real Life Adventures in an Inner-city Ambulance + More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea + In Stitches: The Highs and Lows of Life as an A&E Doctor
Price For All Three: 18.30

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905548230
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905548231
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (618 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 119,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


One of the most gripping blogs around - The Guardian

About the Author

Tom Reynolds began work for the NHS when he was 23 and specialised as an A&E nurse. He moved to the London Ambulance Service when he discovered that 'he wanted to 'torture the patients in A&E'. In his own words, this is 'not healthy'. He has kept his critically-acclaimed blog since 2003 and is frequently quoted in the national press. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of blog entries 26 Jan 2007
Blood, Sweat & Tea is a collection of 'Tom Reynolds' favourite posts from his blog, random acts of reality, annotated to give updates and comment on how he now feels about what he had then written. The book is funny, tragic and intriguing all at once, and certainly dispells any misconceptions you may have had about the job of paramedics and what they can really do to save people. Whether or not you had read the blog previously(I hadn't), this book will certainly keep you entertained, and possibly even inspire you to change career. A good read, whatever your medium.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, very well written. 16 Feb 2007
By Elliot
Blood, sweat and tea is a printed version of parts of an online blog written by Tom Reynolds. It very easy to read and engulfs you into the sometimes bizzare world of the London Ambulance service.

His entries vary from drunks who have fallen over to tradgic cardiac arrests.

This is a fantasic read which is sometimes very funny, sometimes very sad and most of the time very cynical.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood,sweat and tea 10 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although not a good literary work,I found this book very informative,especially the use of mobile phones to identify people.I have passed this onto whoever I've spoken to since reading about the potential use of mobiles for ID & will continue to do so.

This book has confirmed my suspicions about the inappropriate use of our ambulance service &the time wasters in our community.

I did get a bit sick of his rants & repetitions but they just show that he is human.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Tom 20 Aug 2006
By bwts
What a great read, a must for dossing on the beach or even on the train to work.

Tom has hit the nail right on the head with this book.

Ambulance staff in the UK are sick and tired of being portrayed like Josh and Comfort from Casualty and Holby City.

This book tells it like it is.

The waste of time calls we have to go to.

The total abuse the public put on the 999 service.

They smoke cannabis and call 999 because they "feel funny".

They get drunk then call us for a lift home.

They call us when having babies even though they have 3 cars outside, no contractions and the hospital is 200 yards away.

We get called to tramps and the great unwashed and the caller demanding we do something.

These are the rubbish calls we get sent to while 1 mile away someone is dying and we can't go because we are tied up with rubbish.

We get verbally and physically assualted (last count it was two crews every single 24 hours in Capital City alone).

BUY THIS BOOK TODAY and see what being an ambulance person is really like.

Well done Tom!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By I Read, Therefore I Blog VINE VOICE
I discovered Tom Reynolds's blog, 'Random Acts of Reality' 3 months ago after seeing references to it on the blogs of friends and friends of friends and I've been lurking there ever since. This book is a compendium of highlights from that blog - not that there's anything wrong with that in the slightest and I very much hope that it gets more people to go and read it.

There are some v. tragic stories (particularly those where children die suddenly), some v. funny stories (the one with the toxic poo did - to my shame - have me rolling on the floor in laughter) and some stories that will make you go WTF?! (particularly the nurses who fail to open access doors to hospital despite being notified and the 'carers' who don't think that caring is in their job description).

With the exception of the 7/7 attacks, none of the entries are dated and I think that would be my only complaint about it as it's difficult to get a timeline from the entries themselves unless you're a long-time reader of the blog itself. Apart from that, it's a v. interesting read and definitely worth a look.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but ... 13 Nov 2008
Although I enjoyed around half of the entries and found them entertaining and often very touching, this book should come with a warning.... for all NHS staff who work outside of the ambulance service! While the author acknowledges that his comments are not meant to tar all NHS employees with the same brush, and definitely the shortages of staff put pressure on all, there are several occasions where doctors, nurses and midwives are made out to be rude and uncaring and often this book descends into ranting about these professional groups. While dipping in and out of a blog the odd rant is ok, I found that in a book form these frequent angry entries got in the way of the flow of an otherwise enjoyble book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Rant 25 Aug 2014
Glad he is not my colleague. While providing a valuable insight to the NHS and a career in the ambulance service, this book is unpleasant to read. Not generally because of the subject matter , which certainly illustrates what an unpleasant lot the British public can be; but more because the writer himself is just nasty - as in 'you can poke round people's houses and feel superior' and comments about the cat. I am struggling to see humour in this rant. Glad the kindle version was free, so I can ditch it without guilt at not finishing it.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant 18 Aug 2006
This book is brilliant! Hilarious , un-put-downable!

I always wonder what happens to my patients before they appear in A&E, now I know and boy do I respect Ambulance men!

If you're a health professional don't read this on the tube or's hilarious , you'll find yourself laughing at everything and people edging slowly away from you..

Please write a book about your A&E rgn experiences!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, definitely worth a read.
Really good book about life as a paramedic in inner London. Should be charged for. Can't wait for the next instalment.
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Laura
This is a great book, I really enjoyed reading this. I found it very eye opening whilst being comical and also inspiring.
Published 2 days ago by Laura-Marie Stanton
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Need more books like this one very easy read very light hearted and had loads of giggles passed the book onto friends
Published 5 days ago by Chrissy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Makes you realise just what a tough job it is!
Published 5 days ago by Miss Caroline M Macfarlane
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Slow start but got better as I read through.
Published 7 days ago by B. Clarke
5.0 out of 5 stars superb i can see where he is coming from and ...
superb i can see where he is coming from and he says it as it is cant wait for more
Published 10 days ago by lesley murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
Very good. Make interesting reading, especially as I work within the public sector, its nice to hear other opinions
Published 11 days ago by Shelia Gibson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
everyone likes different things, this type of story is OK for me.
Published 15 days ago by dunder bootle
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My kind of book
Published 16 days ago by JoJo
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a good ready. i would have been happy to pay ...
this is a good ready. i would have been happy to pay for this book, but it was free and it fab.
Published 16 days ago by Amanda
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