EMS Partners

6 questions with Rachel Bradshaw

Rachel Bradshaw is a pediatric ER nurse at UTMB Clear Lake Campus Hospital.

1. Why did you choose emergency medicine?

I love the variety, flexibility and challenge. There is never a dull moment. It can be an environment of chaos filled with moments of greatness and heartbreaking sadness and many shades of grey. I rarely get through a day without learning something new. You truly become a “jack of all trades” in the ER.

Kicking it up a notch—I am also a pediatric ER nurse. This skill set requires you to be able to take care of and perform procedures on the tiniest of patients, who usually don’t understand what’s going on, while simultaneously comforting and educating their caregivers. I love kids and how resilient they are. Is it more difficult? Yes! But is it more rewarding? Absolutely!

I juggle the difficulty with the fun. I get the pleasure of playing peek-a-boo, blowing bubbles, giving mommy or daddy an “exam” before the child so it’s not so scary, and occasionally singing and dancing (when I hope nobody is looking). It’s all worth it when I get a big smile from a baby or a belly laugh out of a toddler when they are feeling better. 

2. How do you get through a tough shift?

Any day can become a tough day at any moment. I believe that the key to getting through it is trying to stay calm. You still have the same amount of work to do whether you panic or you remain calm. I’m not saying that I have never been overwhelmed and wanted to cry, but you learn when to ask for help.

In the ER, you have an amazing family of coworkers who know the value of teamwork, whether they drop everything and run a code together or just teach you a protocol that you are unfamiliar with. (Did I mention that I learn something new every day?) Teamwork is a must. 

3. How do you relax away from work?

Relaxing is truly being able to leave work at the door when I come home. When I am home, I’m mom. I will get a massage on occasion, I enjoy cooking, and I love cheering on the sidelines when my kids are playing. 

4. Any medics you admire?

I would just like to give a shout-out to all the EMS teams for doing an amazing job! Your job is a critical first piece of the puzzle for our patients’ care as a whole. Thank you! And an extra shout out to all the EMTs and paramedics who bring in the dreaded “chubby toddler” with an IV placed in the back of a moving ambulance. You rock! 

5. What's your favorite recipe?

My scratch-made spaghetti and meatballs or Rachael Ray’s smoky shepherd’s pie, either one both paired with a large glass of Cabernet. 

6. What do you want people to know?

I have been a pediatric ER nurse my entire career. I started at Texas Children’s Hospital ER where I worked for 12 years. I then moved to UTMB Clear Lake and have worked in its pediatric ER for almost two years now.

I am a mom of three busy kids ranging from 7 to 12 years old. My husband is a League City Police officer. We both proudly serve our community and also enjoy just being normal busy parents.