1. Tell me your history with poison control and how you became a SPI. (Length of time worked there/background/passion for this, etc.)
My story with PCC started when a friend spoke to me about what a great experience had been working as a SPI. I honestly had no clue poison centers even existed, but after researching a bit about it I knew it could a great growing opportunity if I was given the slightest of the chances to serve as a SPI.
Because of my medical background, I wanted to feel useful to society using what I've worked most of my life for, and what a great experience has been so far. I cannot find more words of gratitude towards life for allowing me to have this experience. I've only been here for almost 2 months now, but it feels like I was meant to be here from the very beginning.
2. I’m sure you hear a lot of interesting stories when answering calls, but what is one story that sticks out in your head that might have been scary but turned out funny, and/or everything worked out after the call.
I kind of always knew suicide rates were among the highest it's ever been since all this pandemic situation started, but you always get those rates from news sources, but when you have to be the one, they call to report on these cases, it's tough to assimilate the information at first. I remember not long ago, maybe one week ago, I received a call from a HCF about this 10-year-old girl taking a whole bottle of her mother's med Flexeril, trying to harm herself, and that story stuck with me for a few days. Luckily, the girl managed to survive the intent, but it made me ponder on how our youth is in desperate need of guidance.
3. What do you think people need to know about the people who answer the phones for poison control?
I honestly don't know the answer to this question, but if I may say something it is that maybe people don't realize how important our job is and how our decisions and recommendations make a real impact on people's lives. Maybe with time, I'll be able to answer this question in more detail.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
The unexpected, for sure. I was longing for some thrill.
5. Why do you think it is important for people to have poison control as a resource for emergency help?
It is important because we are the first line of defense, in many ways.
When people call desperate for help, we get to be the ones to give a calming or soothing word, tell them that things will be ok, or maybe not some much ok, but we get to tell them what to do in X or Y situations, so the outcomes could be better than they could have been without our help.