As an intern, I have the chance to work in several different areas and do a lot of different things. I’ve done adult ICU and ER as well as Peds ICU and ER. I’ve even dabbled in research. But by far my most intense and transformative experience was deploying with DMAT–which is disaster medical assistance team. Living in the southeast, most of our disasters are either hurricanes and tornados. Some times both at the same time.

A lot of out deployments were support for the National Guard. Fortunately not many were medically difficult. I gave a lot of breathing treatments. Set up a few Bipaps and Cpaps. Hurricanes and tornadoes stir up a lot of mold and dust which in turn makes breathing more difficult.

More difficult was the emotional toll. There was always someone who literally lost everything that they owned and had no resources to start over. The elderly on a fixed income. The family who were already had difficult circumstances. The children who lost a parent or the parent who lost a child. The most haunting memory was seeing some kid’s stuffed bear lying in a puddle. I wondered if the kid would ever get it back or even if the kid was still alive.

Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but plopping down in a community for a couple weeks and witnessing their most traumatic days will affect me for the rest of my life.

Onerepublic: Start Again

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