Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Working with Death Wednesday: EMT

Today I am so excited to be able to interview one of my friends.  She is not a blogger.  Her name is Katie and she's one of the few people who can crack me up.  We got into a lot of trouble together when we worked in an art department for the phone book.  I think we're both relieved that those days of "colorful use of yellow" are over.
She also hates to take pictures of herself so I had to dig this out of the archives.
Here's a day when we were not working but taking pictures in front of our new Macs.
Scary, huh?

DW:  So, why did you want to become an EMT, Miss Katie?
KS: I became an EMT because of my interest in the medical field. I figured it was the best way to get my feet wet. This was also around the time that you were riding with Upper Pine Fire, which sparked my interest as well.
(I knew I had a small part in this!!!)

DW:  What do you like about your work?
KS:  I like being able to comfort people during what can be a very scary time. It's also nice to have medical knowledge that can help during an emergency.

DW: What's the most difficult aspect of your job, besides the fact that I'm not there:)?
KS:  When I know the patient is beyond my help. The calls I dread the most are the ones involving children. I'm sure most medics would say that, though.

DW:  Tell me about your first experience about someone dying while you were working.
KS: It was last summer. We were called to a home where an elderly person had fallen off their front steps and hit their head. We all knew this patient wasn't going to make it, but we did everything in our power to get them to the hospital for definitive care. A passer-by was the one to call in the incident on a neighbors phone. I was the one to gather information from them so I could notify the patient's family.  It's an odd conversation to have. I imagine it was a hard day for the neighbors and passer-by as well, to witness someone's last moments.

DW:  Was that difficult?
KS:  It was difficult that day, as it was the first death I had witnessed. Well, it was the first time I knew someone was going to die. The patient died shortly after we reached the hospital.

DW:  Had you had personal experience with death prior to becoming an EMT?
KS: I've had quite a bit of experience with death prior to becoming an EMT; two close relatives, my grandmother and uncle, and my aunt's first born died of SIDS at the age of four months.

DW: What do you think are some misconceptions about the work you do?
KS:  I think the biggest misconception is that it's always fast-paced and life or death in this line of work.  It's not. While we do run plenty of emergent calls, there are many times that we get called out to help an elderly person off the floor or deal with a very intoxicated college student. There is little glamour in the pre-hospital setting.

DW:  Do you get to work with really hot guys?
KS:  Even if I did, it doesn't matter because they're all married.

DW:  What's the most unusual thing you've had to do?
KS:  I had a woman ask me to check and make sure her breast implants were still intact.

DW:  So did you go for second base?
KS:  No, I told her the ER would be more appropriate for that.

I love you Katie and I'm so proud that you are using your mad people skills for the greater good!  And thanks for helping me out today!


  1. Thanks for sharing your work, Katie - I think being an EMT would be cool for the reasons you mentioned - to be able to support someone during tough times is attractive to me. I would also appreciate that medical knowledge since I think the body has got to be THE most fascinating system around.
    Thanks, as always, Pamela , for posting this!

    1. Thanks Graciewilde. The body is really fascinating. Anatomy and Physiology is the only class I've ever taken and been anxious to learn more.

  2. LOL! Do you get to work with really hot guys? You make ME laugh.
    Great interview, BTW. We had to call 9-1-1 for J. I'm sure you remember the incident. So I greatly appreciate EMTs. Moreso than doctors a lot of the time.

    1. Thank you, Susan. We appreciate the appreciation:) I guess I shouldn't tell you that I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

  3. Lol @ Boobs implants.

    Was the person serious, or just showing off?

    Hoping showing off otherwise that'd be slightly creepy...

    The photo atop the page is EPIC by the way. ^_^

    1. Completely serious, she was afraid one was leaking. You should have seen the male paramedics face when she asked him as well--priceless. Pamela and I are pretty epic!

    2. HA!

      Male Paramedic: "YEAH, SURE!"

  4. Great insight. I was almost killed at 28 by car/bicycle collision. The EMT stayed with me 2 hours after his shift was up, I was so scared I was going to die. What a godsend, and I don't even know his name. Thank you, Katie, in lieu.

  5. So did you go for second base...Now that's funny and totally medical humor! Too funny. I worked in emergency medicine and trauma surgery for over 20 years. GREAT interview, Katie, keep on keepin on! EMS can be a great stepping stone or career, depends on you. It's a blast!!
    Always remember:The patient comes first. ALWAYS. Exceptional patient care is #1. If you don't have compassion or you dont care about/respect people, get out now. DONT TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY, keep your sense of humor, your stress levels and your patients will love you for it. KNOW YOUR SHIT! learn everything you can, forward,backwards,upside down and then jump in the action head first so you can use your skills/apply your knowledge. Embrace but control adrenaline rushes. Focus, think, control, be aggressive, calm, control, focus, calm, control, do what you're trained to do. Have fun doing it! Laugh, cry.....Now that's LIVING!


Comments are welcome and appreciated!