Trau·ma  Junk· ie  ( 'trau-m&  'j&[ng]-kE) n. Slang
  1. One who has an insatiable interest, devotion or addiction to responding and assisting people with serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident.

The Things You DON'T Learn in School

Epijunky over at Pink Warm and Dry has written an excellent post titled, "A Blur of Pink." I won't give away too much, but here is an excerpt:

He was a large bear of a man, holding what looked like a blur of pink in his hands. A woman was shrieking inside the house, her screams a soul shaking guttural wail. All of a sudden things were becoming very clear to me.

This was not an old couple. There was no 80-year-old man laying on the floor of his kitchen waiting for me.

I didn’t even get two steps outside of the truck before the man practically heaved the Baby to me...

Can you imagine? What you assume is a fairly normal call, turns out to be an entirely different story. Some of us in healthcare thrive on the fact that we never know what is going to happen. It's safe to say that those of who are drawn to trauma love the challenge, the ability to apply our knowledge, and the use of our assessment skills and clinical knowledge that we use to treat the most severe patients at the worst time of their lives.

Most of that is learned in school. But what about the stuff you don't learn?

A friend of mine came up to me the other day and we were talking about our recent rotation through the emergency department in clinicals.

My friend says to me, "How do you not get attached?"

The most obvious answer that any EMT, Emergency Physician, or Nurse will tell you is that you never look the patient in the face. It's just as simple as not letting yourself get attached.

What no textbook or years of experience can prepare you for are those rare moments where you do, in fact, become attached.

There's going to be a time in all of our careers when we look at a patient who is crashing and think, for just a moment, that this could by my kid or my mom. How do you deal with it?

I don't know that there is a right or wrong answer, or if there even is an answer, but I'd definitely recommend that you take the time to read this post.

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