|EMS librarian's pledge|
Always be prepared.
In our office, we often listen to the emergency radio. Keyboard clicks, ringing phones and 911 dispatches create our white noise. Not long ago, during an average work week, an ambulance was dispatched to a cardiac arrest at a nearby address, when an EMS medical director sprinted into the office and asked,
"Kacy, do you want to go on a that cardiac arrest run?"
Why yes, Dr. Stevens, I would love to go on a run with you. Which means I need to be able to immediately shift my attention from my computer and run to his emergency response vehicle.
People often ask what my typical day is like. Usually, I'm typing away on a lit search, writing something up, working on a grant, attending meetings, completing CE or teaching PubMed, etc. Once a week (usually Fri night, Sat or Sun) I ride out with an ambulance crew.
I thought this incident might give a better description of my average day. It's office work punctuated by emergencies. Medics, EMTs and firefighters sometimes describe their jobs as calm punctuated by moments of chaos. My job is similar. Sometimes the calm is interrupted by taking a run, sometimes it's interrupted by a mass casualty incident. This calm/chaos ratio works well for me.
I ride out/go on runs to become familiar with the specialized vocabulary, work, process and people in EMS. A bonus for me - I get to meet some fun and dedicated ambulance crews.