Life in the Emergency Room is probably a lot like you imagine. It is sort of like a television dramedy. We make wise-cracks at each other’s expenses while mending gaping boo-boos. We drink gallons of coffee and eat high calorie foods in between drawing blood and catching barf. The human body is a marvel; a truly disgusting marvel. In a way, I just sort of showed up and said “put me to work.” And they happily did. I come from a long line of Emergency Medicine practitioners. I clearly got the gene, while my sister and brothers remain blissfully ER-gene free (dang!). Not much grosses me out and I dare any of you to try. Having an integral part in the resolution of somebody’s crisis changes you. You are at once humbled and hardened. You grow more attached to and thankful for what you have in your life, as you are reminded of how fleeting it can be every shift. As a self preservation mechanism you distance yourself from those you are caring for. Not in a derogatory way though. You simply wouldn’t make it through the day if you let yourself care as much as you normally would. And these are people in your community that are seeking your help – people you love – but you must remain calm and keep a brave smile. Even when you know better. I can feel the transformation and am trying to find a balance. Though it can be draining, working in the ER is one of the best decisions I’ve made. I don't say "No" to an open shift. I am compelled to be there - all the time. The team I work with is nothing short of amazing and I either learn or see something new every day I’m there. Beyond the cacophony of babies crying, people laughing, painful moans, dirty jokes and the soundtrack the ER doctors put to our insanity; beyond the bodily fluids, malodorous occurrences and broken bones; I am now part of a bigger picture and a greater good. I am honored to help those in need. Thank you for allowing me to lend a hand.