National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week honors the many people who serve as EMS providers. During this time of COVID-19, it is especially important to recognize these individuals for their willingness to support the public health response to the pandemic while still responding to everyday emergencies.
Here at Children’s Minnesota, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) provide care to patients in the Emergency Department and training and education through the Emergency Response Training Center. They play an important role in ensuring patients receive the best possible care. They also support our organization’s ability to provide care throughout the metro area, responding to emergencies and transporting patients from one location to another.
To celebrate all of the amazing work our EMS providers do, we sat down with Anna Cheney, Ryan Leba and Emily Tucker, EMTs at Children’s Minnesota, to talk about their work:
Emily Tucker: Have you heard the song “Right Hand Man” from Hamilton? If not, you should look it up! Basically, it celebrates the role of assistants, sidekicks, people behind the scenes. Taking care of kiddos requires teamwork and nowhere is that more true than in the emergency department. The cool thing about being an EMT is that for every procedure requiring a team effort, I get to be part of that team.
Ryan Leba: Our role as EMT’s is ever-changing, we are the jack of all trades, we are involved in all traumas, resuscitations and codes. We assist with procedures and act as the curators of the Emergency Department.
Anna Cheney: I am currently an EMT in the ER [emergency room] at Children’s Minnesota hospital Minneapolis. I work alongside physicians and nurses to help care for all of our patients.
Ryan Leba: While in college, I shadowed various medical professions and fell in love with the fast pace that went along with emergency medicine. I was inspired to go into my field of work by my mother. She has worked here for over 30 years (Jackie Leba, she’s the best!) and I’ve always been proud to tell others that she is a nurse at Children’s Minnesota, so when the opportunity arose to work here at Children’s Minnesota, I jumped on it!
Anna Cheney: My love of caring for and helping others drew me to the medical field. There is no better way to help someone than providing them with care and support when they are facing what could be
the worst time of their life. I initially started working as an EMT for an EMS agency, responding
to 9-1-1 calls and transporting patients to different facilities. From there I met tons of other
EMTs, paramedics and nurses and was inspired to work in a hospital with a totally different
scope of practice. I wanted to spend more time with my patients and their families, and knew
that working in a hospital would allow that.
Anna Cheney: What I love most about my job is interacting with patients and their families. Whether it’s
holding a baby while their parents have stepped away, singing along to favorite movies while a
child has a procedure done, or dancing in the hallway with siblings while the doctors are talking
with the parents and patient—I absolutely love connecting with my patients and their families!
Emily Tucker: There really isn’t just one thing, it’s everything put together. I love my patients, but I think part of being able to love and care about a patient is the confidence in knowing that the rest of my team feels the same way. I love working with these amazing humans that have the ability to put everything they have into caring for their patients, then find more to give each other, then practice self-care by crying or venting or eating (or most likely a combination of all three) and then go back out and do it all over again. We are a family.
Ryan Leba: The thing I love most about my job is the variety of patients that we see. No two days are alike and there is always the possibility to see something for the first time!
Ryan Leba: Emergency Medical Services are the backbone of our medical system, and they are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet. They often work long hours and put their lives on the line each and every day. Many health care providers got their start in the EMS field. If you’re curious about the medical field it is an absolutely fantastic way to get your feet wet. We would love to have you!
Anna Cheney: The most important thing that I want families and staff to know about me and my ER team is that we will always be there to help, in any way we can. I tell families all the time—we are always here, no matter what. We will always do our very best to make sure you are cared for, comfortable, and supported to the very best of our ability. I have to thank all my coworkers, but especially my fellow EMTs, for being the greatest work-family in the world!
Emily Tucker: When you win a kid over, earn their trust, it’s not a subtle moment, it’s a bright spark. The kid who insists on watching the needle go in—not believing for a second that the J-tip actually numbed his skin—squeezes his eyes shut at the last second, you say “all done” and he snaps his eyes open saying
“Whaaaat??? Coooool!” The giggling, unsteady, runaway toddler—yep, the one that just got stitches—
that barrels straight into your arms bear-hug style. I think those sparks recharge our souls and enable us
to endure the moments that break our hearts.
Ryan Leba: Kids rock! I love their curiosity, their optimism and their resilience. But most of all I love their perspective. Kids have a way of always focusing on the positive things that surround them!
Anna Cheney: Kids are amazing for their courageous spirit, outgoing personability, inquisitive minds, loving hearts and big smiles. I have met so many amazing kids who are so strong, brave and resilient,
even in the most difficult times. I always try my best to help make my patients smile, but I often
find myself smiling because of them. They really are the most amazing people on earth!