The Transience of Life - page 3
In the 19 years that I was active as a volunteer EMS member of my local fire department (2 years NREMT-Basic + 17 years NREMT-Paramedic), I was often amazed at the difference between a "scene" on the day of getting a call,... Read More
- 2Oct 1, '12 by AeternaExcellent article! I can strongly relate to it, working in oncology/palliative. There is not a single room on our unit that has not seen a death. I can still pass by some rooms and remember a death that affected me in some way, but then I see someone else in that bed and remember it's all in the past.
What strikes me even more are the odd times when I discharge a patient home while at the same time, have another patient who is dying. One minute, I'm celebrating with the patient and their family that they're better, they can go home, sleep in their own beds, and be with their loved ones. I wave goodbye with a smile, then hurry to another room and quietly provide the best emotional support I can to a grieving family, watching my patient on his/her last hours. And, when all is done, the patient dies and when they leave, in comes another. Lather, rinse, repeat.
- 2Oct 3, '12 by FranEMTnurseVery well written. I have had similar experiences, only reverse of yours. My medical career began when I was just 21 working as a nurses aide back in 1964. I experienced many deaths in that LTC facility. I felt the anger I had at those who left their relatives behind to die alone, and became active in helping them enjoy their lives in spite of being left alone. I started a men's club called "The Crackerbarrel Club", plus worked with the men & women on arts & crafts, a co-worker & I put on shows for the residents, and I even helped publish a monthly newspaper called "The Gay Nineties Review."
Fourteen years later, I joined our ambulance corps. Knowing I only wanted to do my very best at whatever it was that I took on, I became the ambulance corp's first EMT and soon after that became a CPR & Basic First Aid instructor.
Having experienced numerous calls of all kinds including witnessing the accidental death of a relative who I didn't recognize, nor did anyone else on that call until his wallet was removed from his pocket, to what we used to call "Taxi" calls. (I believe you know what I mean) I began to wonder if I was getting so used to it I was getting uncaring. I now know I wasn't. I eventually became a nurse. So thank you for sharing a little bit about you.