Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

As we counted down to the new year, I looked all around me at the nurses, EMT's, paramedics, doctors, technicians, and business associates around me and felt a warm glow. And no, it wasn't from the champagne I already snuck a taste of.

It has been a whole year (minus two days) since I first entered the Emergency Room as a technician, two whole years since I began as a volunteer.  The changes since then in my person, mentally, physically, and emotionally have been significant and long-lasting.  I almost never walked home after a long day or night shift, regardless of how tired I was without thinking about, reflecting on, and analyzing what I had seen- all the chaos, emotional situations, and funny occurrences. Most people would probably think of what I do as Hell on Earth, but it is a ring-side seat to the unabashedly naked (sometimes literally) and diverse circus of humanity.

Although I am very frustrated with the lack of a positive response from medical schools, I find comfort in learning something new every shift, acquiring new tools for the toolbox of my future in healthcare.  I will also keep busy doing the best I can do for my patients both as a technician and musician.  Life, as the ER teaches me often, is much too short to waste on regret.

So far, I have eluded the cold armor of jaded apathy and hope to stay that way. For some healthcare workers, it is only a matter of time; for others, they will constantly maintain their humanity in the face of difficult situations. My co-workers, I observed, even though dressed in their shiny holiday best, could not help but discuss work. Later, I laughed at myself because I was doing the same thing.  What we do is inseparable to who we are though we are all marked by the specters of our unresolved traumatic experiences. However, we also know that there is no reason to forget the joy of being together welcoming the bright future.

Although my lessons of the year had been taught under a heavy, heavy hand, I very much appreciate all that has been accomplished and everyone who has contributed to filling my cup of happiness.

Cheers to everyone.  As I emptied my small glass of champagne with my cheering co-workers, I felt hope bubble in my chest for the adventures of a brand new year.

Happy New Year!


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