What’s the Worst Thing

“I don’t mind talking about my job, quite the opposite in fact, but really the question of ‘What’s the worst thing you’ve seen?’ is a much, much deeper and sometimes more painful question then anyone asking it ever realizes. Emergency medicine is a job that ranges from the fields of the mundane to the cliffs of insanity and to the very thin line between life and death. And while every piece of it is beautiful in its own way (yes even the routine mundane bits), it can also be gut-wrenching and painful. While I consider it an honor to get to be present, if only for a brief moment, in some of the most life changing moments in a person’s life, those sorts of moments are not always easy. When you ask about a ‘worst thing’ you aren’t asking about physical things. You are asking about emotional things. Things that shape us on a very deep level. Things that change who we are. Just keep that in mind.” —Ruth Stewart, Colorado Paramedic

Trust me: you don’t want to know — and it’s the most insensitive and obliviotic question you could ask an emergency responder.


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Randy Cassingham is best known as the creator of This is True, the oldest entertainment feature on the Internet: it has been running weekly by email subscription since early 1994. It is social commentary using weird news as its vehicle so it’s fun to read. Click here for a subscribe form — basic subscriptions are free.

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