By Lee Nelson
Many individuals in his life thought Cameron Hershey, BSN, RN would turn out to be a Firefighter, just like the generations earlier than him. His grandfather, father, and brother had been all Firefighters.
“I simply wasn’t tremendous eager about being a firefighter. However I wanted a job. Whereas in Banks, Oregon, I came upon they wanted volunteer firefighters and EMTs,” he says.
So, for a yr, he labored as an EMT and volunteered with the hearth division.
“I acquired extra expertise with affected person care and met many nurses with superior levels on the hospital. On the time, I didn’t notice Firefighters might advance to RNs as quick as I did.”
He determined he might turn out to be a nurse and researched all of the accelerated applications accessible within the nation. He selected the College of Louisville Hospital in Kentucky for a 12-month, accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) diploma. This might be his second diploma as he had already earned a bachelor’s diploma in human physiology. The coursework from his first diploma counted towards stipulations.
“We began with 90 college students and about 38 graduated in my class in 2016. Just a few had been males.”
Trauma E.R. Straight Out Of Nursing Faculty
He had deliberate to come back again to California, the place he grew up, after graduating. However there was a lot competitors for nursing jobs on the west coast that he stayed in Kentucky and labored in Louisville’s trauma middle’s E.R. for 2 years.
“Most new candidates don’t get the possibility to work within the emergency room. However I do higher getting thrown right into a state of affairs,” Hershey explains.
He wished to work within the intensive care unit. However after his interview, the supervisor informed him he didn’t have the character for that unit.
“That made me mad. However after three months of working within the trauma middle, I understood what she meant,” he provides. “My character matched extra with E.R. — fast-paced.”
Lots of his family and friends would ask him if it was boring within the E.R. within the Midwest. “Oh, how they had been incorrect,” he says.
“Each evening, we had numerous shootings and overdoses and issues I had by no means seen earlier than. Individuals suppose all this occurs in internal cities. However a few of these Midwest cities are the craziest, harmful locations with assaults and stabbings,” Hershey feedback.
He was thrown right into a by trial by fireplace. They had been short-staffed, and he determined he would both sink or swim.
“However I beloved it that approach. It was difficult. In 2 years, I discovered a lot. I noticed much more than I had in Oregon or California,” he says. “I discovered methods to critically suppose and suppose underneath stress. I’m a fairly calm particular person now in any case that.”
Working as a Vital Care Transport RN
Cameron now works as a Vital Care Transport nurse.
Not too long ago, one of many sufferers had suffered coronary heart failure and wanted to be moved with a balloon pump and 9 completely different drips.
“He couldn’t go by helicopter due to an excessive amount of weight with all of the gear,” says Hershey, who works for ambulance providers in southern California.
They began loading all of the objects into the gurney with all of the screens. Actually sick sufferers may take as much as an hour simply to get every little thing in to the car. However Hershey retains his calm, talks the affected person by means of the transfer and helps them perceive all of the issues they’re doing.
“I like being within the area and being the very best medical authority there to take management of the affected person’s care,” he says. “It’s rather a lot duty, however I be ok with what I’m doing. I’ve much more autonomy than being in a hospital.”
First Expertise With Affected person Demise
“I all the time take into consideration this 18-year-old man. He was introduced in after being hit by a automobile simply strolling throughout the road from the identical bar I used to be going to throughout my nursing college days. I had walked that street many instances,” he explains.
This teen was in dangerous form. As a brand new nurse for less than two months, Hershey watched the younger man code proper when his mother and father got here into the room to see him.
“I began CPR. I nearly second-guessed myself. He didn’t make it. I simply bear in mind it so effectively. The mother was standing there close to me. We had been engaged on him for 35 minutes. The mother informed me to cease as a result of she couldn’t take it anymore.”
It was intense for Hershey to take care of a household like this for the primary time. However coping with households grew to become a commonplace taking place with 10-15 opioid overdoses each evening within the E.R. A number of the overdose victims that he revived got here again a number of instances into the emergency room with extra overdoses.
They got here from all walks of life — younger, middle-aged, wealthy, poor. You identify it, he noticed it.
But it surely wasn’t simply the medication that killed them. Some had been hit by vehicles or had automobile accidents after doing medication and getting excessive. Or violence adopted them after turning into drug customers, and they’d get shot or produce other violent issues occur to them.
Key Variations Working As An EMT vs RN
In California, Cameron feels that the scope of observe carried out by EMT’s is “dumbed down.”
“You’ll be able to’t do as a lot for the folks you might be serving to. Many EMTs can solely transport sufferers. EMTs within the southern states are bringing in 911 victims and dealing with paramedics. Many stabilize sufferers and simply get them to the hospital,” he says.
He additionally feels that many registered nurses look down on EMTs and different workers that work on sufferers earlier than they attain the hospital. He’s witnessed this therapy personally as a transport nurse. Although he’s sporting scrubs when he brings sufferers right into a facility, he feels that hospital nurses deal with him as much less of an expert than they do their friends within the hospital. He wrote about nurses bullying EMS employees on Nurse.org. He additionally talks about many topics he offers with as a nurse and EMT on his podcast Trauma Cam.
Recommendation for EMTs, Paramedics and Firefighters Contemplating a Nursing Profession
“It’s a a lot completely different setting within the firehouse. It’s a brotherhood. It’s additionally just a little militaristic. Nursing is rather a lot completely different. It’s way more all the way down to earth,” he shares.
He recommends anybody who is considering a profession in nursing or any well being area to shadow some folks.
“Don’t decide a profession area until you see the way it works. Watch them, hearken to them and see how they work with sufferers,” he says.