I’m a REMS baby. I strut around campus, throwing words like “supine” and “hypertensive and bradycardic” around like I know what they mean. I prance around in my all black outfit except for the yellow and white logo of Rice EMS and my pager, thinking I’m so cool even though it’s the nerdiest thing I’ve done to date including the time in high school when I was captain of Math Team and The Challenge . But this time, I love what I do. In a phrase, I get to save lives
I never came to Rice with the goal of being an EMT; in fact, I didn’t even know of the Rice Emergency Medical Services (REMS) program until I got to campus in August. Even when I was introduced to the program, I didn’t instinctively think about participating in it; in fact the only reason why I got into it was because of my friends in the program. In order to get involved in the program, I had to first get nationally certified and learn the skills necessary for an EMT.
I took the EMT-Basic class as soon as I was able to: in Spring 2013. In this class, I received a basic knowledge of how to treat patients. In this introduction to pre-hospital emergency medicine, I was taught how to assess a patient and how to treat medical and trauma emergencies. As a part of the class, I went off campus to Ben Taub Hospital Emergency Room and ambulance rotations at Cypress Creek. I’ll spare you the details but I saw some really gory stuff; one patient died as I was doing CPR. As Pitbull would tell you, I’ve lost a lot, and learned a lot. Even though class and its outside commitments involved every ounce of strength I had, the experience shaped me for the better. From the very first clinical internship, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the world. I fell in love with medicine and I know now that I will always and forever be a doctor at heart.
Over the summer, I took various qualifying exams in order to actually use my skills in some discernible manner. Eventually, I was able to start shifts at Rice EMS and give back to my community. Every shift is exhilarating, nerve-wrecking and flat out amazing.
I loved the EMT-Basic class so much that I decided to pursue my Advanced EMT license. In this class, we learn advanced airway management, intravenous/intramuscular medications, and fluid replacement as well as a host of other techniques for the pre-hospital environment. I start my clinical shifts again this month and I truly can’t wait to see what this semester will bring.
In the end, EMS is not about showing off with your fancy Littmann stethoscope or successfully completing an endotrachial intubation in fifteen seconds. It’s about the people in the world that need you and called for your help. It’s about putting the past away, stepping back from the ledge and cutting ties from everything you’ve known before. Its about missed meals, middle of the night pages, and sacrificing your time for the greater good. Honestly, EMS comes back to saving lives, even if you can keep them alive just long enough until the ER docs take over.
I’m only a REMS baby now; I’ve only just started working in the organization and I still shake whenever I’m expected to lead a call. I know that I will grow not literally guys, I’m really short with experience and knowledge as time goes on. I hope that one day, I’ll be a REMS kid, graduate to REMS collegiate and eventually come back to Rice as a REMS alumnus.
If you are interested in REMS, want to learn more about it or pre-med life, or you picked up on my music references and just want to hang out, at Rice contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit rems.rice.edu.