Wednesday, June 26, 2013

All workers do amazing things

Several months ago I worked a day in our satellite ED, and on top of that, they talked me into coming in early.  So when I arrived at 5 am my hope was to ease into the day with the coffee I had picked up on the way and maybe catch up with the people I don't see all the time.
That lasted about 10 minutes, when a critically short of breath patient arrived.
At first it looked like we might need to intubated, but some quick action avoided that.
Long story short, after IV drips of normal saline, 3 different antibiotics, magnesium, potassium, some tylenol, solumedral, and multiple breathing treatments, the patient was transferred to the hospital CCU with pneumonia and doing better.

Two hours had elapsed in a blink.....and my coffee was cold.
The rest of the day was busy and went by quickly but uneventfully and I went home and mowed the lawn and made supper and I started thinking....
I helped save a patient's life, what an amazing thing.  I do something special for a living.

It is something special but I also started to think, I'm not alone in this am I.
This scene repeats itself with variations over and over for nurses, doctors and other health care professionals.
But, as amazing as all that is, we don't rush into burning buildings, we don't stand in harms way on foreign soil, we don't kiss our spouses goodbye and have them wonder if we'll come home safe after a traffic stop or a drug bust gone bad. We don't shingle roofs in the noon day sun or labor in hundred degree heat picking vegetables in the hope that our children can grow up as citizens in a country that offers greater hope. We don't descend into the earth to work in dirty mines. We don't work in third world factories that are fire hazards with the doors locking us in.

Yes, I did help save a life and that's no small feat, but there are many great feats performed day after day by workers everywhere and that is a testimony to Workers.
Every worker deserves to be treated with respect, to be provided safe working conditions, to make a living wage, to have access to affordable health care and quality education.
In my air conditioned building I sometimes do amazing things but so does the worker sweating in the field or the factory.
I deserve respect but so also do they.
We are brothers and sisters all.

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