Amanda Shehadeh, an emergency nurse at UTMB Health Angleton Danbury, answers six questions.
Why did you choose emergency medicine?
My interest in emergency medicine started during high school. I was a student athletic trainer and EMS explorer. When I went to nursing school, the ER rotation was the one unit I couldn’t get enough of. I started my career in Neuro IMU, but I knew the ER was where I belonged. Many years later, I can’t imagine another job that offers as much variety as working in the ER.
How do you get through a tough shift?
I think you have to embrace the chaos sometimes and just take one step at a time. The challenging days are what keeps the job interesting and exciting. It is definitely a bonus to work with a dependable team that you can also laugh with. When the day is done, it’s so rewarding to look back on the difference you made to people in crisis.
What do you do to relax when you are not at work?
My favorite way to relax is to plan vacations, even if they aren’t for me. I would definitely be a travel agent if nursing didn’t work out! I count down to the trips I am able to enjoy myself. Otherwise, I’m cooking in the middle of the night or loving on my dog.
What can you tell us about a recent EMS-related case that was a success? Was there a medic who made a difference?
We are lucky to work with the best medics at Angleton Area EMS. Harrold
Goodin was one of the medics on the scene of a rollover ATV accident where two teens were ejected. He called in a trauma activation and provided great prehospital care, which allowed us to get to CT within minutes of arrival. His assessment skills and report helped us to quickly identify injuries and achieve good outcomes.
What’s your favorite food?
I am very particular about where I eat, so I love cooking at home on my nights off. My family likes to joke about, “Mama’s chopped kitchen.” I just cook from the heart, no recipes.
What’s something you want people to know about you?
I have a lot of respect for our first responders and how much they are able to do with limited resources. So much of the success in the ER is the result of EMS and PD support. I am so thankful to live and work in a community that has a partnership to provide excellence to its citizens.