I LOVED my emergency medicine rotation. I’m super behind on my studying, but I’m having such a difficult time concentrating because my heart is full of joy and peace. I was so scared the days leading up to this rotation. When I saw I had EM next, I threw a quick prayer up because I as so fearful of so many things. I’m such an indecisive person…I’m the friend who can’t decide where to eat or where to hang out with..I’m the person who walks into church and gets so overwhelmed with all the people, I can’t even decide where to sit…I lose my lunchbox on a regular basis at school, drop my coffee tumblr and spill water bottle all the time in class, and I always need napkins because I just drop everything. Ugh.
You can imagine my apprehension about the ER, where I would have to make decisions on what labs to order, what treatment plans to pursue, and do a bunch of procedures. Total yikes right?
But the Lord is so sovereign and so faithful, that in this setting I was so nervous about, I felt like I THRIVED. He was with me. SUPER clique, but it’s true. In the ER, by some unknown reason, I wasn’t fearful or indecisive. I was bold, courageous, confident, and procedures came so naturally to me. Somehow, I knew which labs to order and what treatment plans I wanted to pursue, and it was incredible to hear my preceptor say multiple times, “That’s a perfect plan. Let’s go with it.” It was even better when I mostly/almost flawlessly performed procedures successfully and to end each shift with his encouraging, “Strong work, Alex.”
YES. This is a girl who can’t make decisions with her friends, drops things too often, loses her lunchbox. Being in a fast paced and stressful setting did not seem like an ideal place for me to thrive, but I did. Isn’t that crazy? The only answer is that the Holy Spirit in my heart did it. It wasn’t me for sure lol. This rotation challenged me and made me be all the things I wanted to be. That’s literally the only thing that makes sense. How else do I successfully intubate, reduce joints, do pelvic exams, and suture numerous lacerations? How else do I come up with work ups, read/understand CTs and X-rays, diagnosis, and treatments (other than my rigorous and thorough PA education of course)?
I don’t know why, but I kind of see the ER as the church. In both situations, you have those who are scared, those in pain, those in not great situations, those who don’t have PCP or anywhere else to go, come to the ER. And just like the church, the ER will take you in, regardless of your skin color, health status, financial situation, orientation, age, etc., it doesn’t matter. In the ER, I feel that you have the opportunity to receive health care and physically healed or helped. You won’t be turned away, it’s is the safe place for many- just like it says in Psalm 91:2 of God’s character, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
I don’t think my heart has ever beat the way it did in the ER. I’ve never felt so alive, so calm, so collected, so focus, like this was the way I could serve others best. Maybe it’s the rush of the adrenaline when I pull the scope to intubate, maybe it’s the rush of working in a team with other people with trauma patients, I don’t know. But I do know that being in the ER has allowed me to love God’s people, for me to surrender my insecurities of feeling ill-equipped and letting the Holy Spirit take charge, and for being the hands and feet of the Lord to help heal His people who are scared, hurt, and lonely.
I heard that it’s pretty difficult to find a job in the ER as a PA, and especially hard for for a new grad. I have no idea where I’m going to end up or what job I’ll end up getting, but being on this rotation has reminded me how much love and care I want to share with people who feel scared/hurt/alone, how all of my long nights of studying and tears are starting to pay off, and how I am 110% confident that medicine is the place for me.
1 John 4:19. We love because He loved us first.
Shout out to my amazing preceptor who taught me so much and all the patients who provided the opportunity for me to serve them. Thank you for showing me what it means to love others through medicine.
And to my classmates who read my blog, I hope your heart beats wildly and passionately in a rotation that makes you feel so alive, so confident, and so sure that this is what you’re meant to do and this is where you’re meant to be.