Coming from a family of health care providers (I was discussing cardiac catheters in depth with my cousin on vacation) means that i often feel that my non-clinical experience is not as practical. Sure, I know CPR and first aid, but how am I an emergency?
Well, yesterday at work I got to find out. A woman coming into our building fell on the sidewalk and was gushing blood from her head and face. While my office mates found the first aid kit and wet wipes, I called 911. I was clear and direct, giving my assessment of the severity of situation.
Because vasovagal syncope (see, I know big medical words!) runs in my family, dealing with bleeding people is on the reasons that I did not pursue a clinical career. So I focus on what I CAN do, which in this case was to call in the professionals as quickly as possible, armed with the most information I could provide.
I realized later that this is "health communications," what I proclaim that I'm a specialist at -- and it's part of the whole health care experience. Not everyone can bandage the wounds, sometimes they just facilitate getting the person who can to the person who needs it. I'll call that a win.