I started out early in life I knew I wanted to help people. I started out as a CNA, EMT, Paramedic and now a nurse. It never gets easier. One of my first few weeks in being a Paramedic we got an unusual call, almost a welfare check but that someone may be sick. It was to a town house had no electricity, no heat and it was a Wisconsin winter, very cold.
My partner was always sassy never waited on Police like we were supposed to. The door was unlocked but by the time we went inside the Police had shown up. We all kind of took a direction. It was dark cold and smelled bad. I figured maybe we would find an adult passed away. I turned a corner and saw a play pen I thought it was a doll but I always double check it’s a habit.
I get close enough to see that it’s a infant maybe almost a year slumped in the corner looking very malnourished and almost frozen. Unfortunately the child had passed already, there was nothing we could do. My partner had to pull me away I kept trying thinking but what if, what if we get a pulse. I think about it a lot, I just had my 2nd child and every night I make sure she is warm. I feel it’s my subconscious some how keeping the baby I couldn’t save warm and safe.
There has been many other stories. I just have to remind myself I’m not God and that he needed that person, you can’t save everyone but you wish you can, you think of the constant what if…
I’ve had family members screaming at me save him save him and when you can’t you take it hard, I’ve had a patient choke, I did everything I could I started bargaining with God please let me save him please but God has his reasons. Some nights are better than others, some nights I lay awake questioning my future and wanting to do something different. I’m burnt out and worn down. Even now as a nurse the Dr’s pass off responsibility. They tell me “call so-and-so and tell them they found a mass” and then on the other end of the line so-and-so starts crying. I remain silent but then offer encouragement.
I go home and think how different life will now be for that patient, I just don’t think I can do this until retirement. Part of me has become numb it’s like I’m a robot do this do that, stat, IV, labs, meds, injections you know what to do before you even start… I pray for peace of mind for us all… God bless everyone and know we make a difference even if we get a smile or a nod.
– Story written by BobbiLynn, 35 year old paramedic/RN. 15 years in EMS.