There are many people who are heroes, just by the nature of the field they work in. They might be firefighters, lawyers, social workers, teachers, paramedics, or a number of other careers. But when they put on their uniform or start their day, they are changing and saving lives. And as much as we need and appreciate all of these hard workers, many of us often associate their jobs with the most challenging days. Seeing patients struggle or watching a family lose their home to a natural disaster cannot be easy to experience day after day. So right now, we’re going to take a moment to appreciate all of the best moments these heroes have had during their emotionally taxing careers.
One curious Reddit user posed the question, “People with emotionally difficult jobs (police, EMS, firefighters, doctors, nurses, therapists, etc.), what was your BEST day on the job?” And hundreds of heroes responded with heartwarming moments from their careers. We’ve gathered some of the most impactful stories down below, but I’ll warn you right now, you might want to grab a box of tissues! Keep reading to also find an interview with firefighter, paramedic and the man behind The Happy Medic blog, Justin Schorr.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Be sure to upvote the replies that touch you, and let us know in the comments below if you have any similar stories to share from your own career. Then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article featuring heartwarming moments that will brighten your day, we recommend checking out this list next.
I was a SAHM, with four children, ages 8, 4, 3 and 1. You can imagine how crazed my life could be. One day, we were over at my mother-in-law’s house for Sunday dinner, and I had left the kids with the family so I could run to the store to get butter or rolls, some small thing to go with dinner.
When I came back, my mother-in-law said, “Did you see how your kids’ faces lit up the second you walked in the door?” I hadn’t seen anything. But the next time the situation came up, I paid attention this time. And she was right! I was so busy being Crazy Harassed Mom with Too Much to Worry About that I was missing it: my kids adored me, and I wasn’t seeing it.
Trust me, after that, I paid a lot more attention.
Image credits: AJClarkson
Many children grow up dreaming about being firefighters, doctors, lawyers or teachers, but in reality, these career paths are no walk in the park. They can often be high-stress jobs, and they can take a huge toll on the emotional state of the professionals who enter these fields. When every day at work you have to help out someone who is having the worst day of their life, it can be hard to step away from that emotional state when the day ends. But occasionally, these individuals get lucky. Once in a blue moon, or perhaps only once in their entire career, these heroes get to have a day that stands out as being extremely positive or impactful.
The stories on this list may still sound overwhelming and stressful to those of us who don’t work in life-saving situations, but it really puts things into perspective to know that they were the best days for these professionals. Unfortunately, we will all at one point or another be in a situation where we require help from the people in these fields, so let’s take a moment to appreciate them and honor their stories.
Was called to a home for a drowning. 2 year old patient. Drownings suck because they nearly always end badly. We arrive on scene and there is a mother holding a 3 year old and another 2 year old child is soaking wet playing on the ground getting muddy. Long story short, these people dont even have a pool. Their 3 year old was messing on the phone and accidentally called 911. While on the line he kept telling the dispatcher that his brother was in the water. So the call came to us.
Mom gave us cupcakes and we played with them in the mud for a little bit. Great day.
Image credits: anon
During my time as a student teacher I was reading a fairly boring article about Aztec people I think. To make it not so boring for the kids and so they would listen more I stopped every now and then and added in extra details and compared things to examples of real life so they could have a better understanding of what was happening. All of the kids were absolutely silent the entire time and staring at me. When I finished the article a few of the kids started clapping like they had just seen a play or something. They stopped really quickly and looked a little embarrassed but I don’t think I have ever felt so good. Every single student was asking questions and engaged and it just made me feel so good. I’ve never felt so great about something before.
Image credits: Slamma_jamma1
To gain some insight into what it’s really like to work in one of these high-stress professions, we reached out to Justin Schorr. Justin is a second generation firefighter and paramedic with 28 years experience serving various urban, suburban and urban neighborhoods. He is ARFF certified and currently serves as a Paramedic Captain with a San Francisco Bay Area Fire Department. First, we wanted to know what inspired Justin to get into this field in the first place. “My father was a firefighter so I naturally gravitated towards this line of work,” he told Bored Panda. “However, as an EMT in rural New Mexico, I had a patient I couldn’t help because I didn’t have the right training so I applied to Paramedic School.”
“The average day starts with a rigorous check of our equipment and supplies,” Justin explained. “Then a briefing from the Captain about local events, road closures, hospital issues, etc. Then it’s off to our post based on the needs of the system. Dispatch will move us and the other ambulances around to try to reduce response times. We’ll respond to calls for service, meeting some people on their worst day and try to make that bad day better. 12 hours later, if we’re lucky, we can go home.”
Back around 1998 or 1999, I was new to the workforce in my first post-grad job ever. I was rather shy and nervous about the whole thing. I’m an extrovert, but was having trouble making friends at work.
On my birthday, my wife had an absolutely huge raspberry chocolate cake delivered to my work for me. It was probably a good 8 inches tall and about 18 inches by 24 inches. Massive and heavy. Tasted delicious.
It was delivered to my boss, who set it up beside my desk. He sent out a company wide email telling people where the cake was and to wish me a happy birthday. I had a constant stream of people in an out of my cube all day, some of which I got to know fairly well after their 4th piece. There was a very visible river of chocolate crumbs leading away from my cube. And from that day on everything had changed. I knew a lot of people well enough to strike up a conversation, and it seemed like everyone knew me enough to start chatting.
It was a good day.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Image credits: Reddit_Bork
We also asked Justin if one particular day stands out to him as the best one in his career. “There are several good days, and luckily they outnumber the bad ones,” he shared. “I recall one particular day I was working at the international airport and we were called for a cardiac arrest on the top floor of a large building in the air train station. On scene, a 15 year old was doing CPR on his father and I quickly dragged his dad off the train into the rental car lobby full of people and took over CPR. I used my cardiac monitor to shock his heart back into a good rhythm and the ambulance later took them all to the hospital. Later that day at the hospital I saw the boy, and he told me his dad was awake and would be okay.”
I was typing a report parked outside of a mall when a little girl who was 3-5 years old walked in front of my cruiser wearing pink gum boots and a yellow rain coat. She began waving at me and I waved back and even flashed the lights. She was super excited and turned to her dad to say something while smiling ear to ear and jumping around.
They dissapeared into the mall and came out a minute later with a coffee and a cookie. The girl brought the food to my window and I thanked her for them and asked if she wanted to sit in the driver seat. She was so excited and hopped in the car, I let her chirp the sirens, turn on the lights and even use the load speaker to say hello to her dad.
The dad was almost tearful with how much his daughter was enjoying this experience and told me that the country that they came from you couldn’t trust the police and nothing like this interaction could ever happen. I cant remember what country he said they immigrated from but it was in the middle east. He asked me to join them for a coffee. I had to decline do to being horrifically behind on paper already but thanked him for the coffee and cookie.
I think about this day a lot when I have bad ones, it is quite a cherished memory of mine.
Image credits: Cleaborg
We also asked Justin if there were any misconceptions about his line of work that he would like to dispel. “So many… But the biggest misconception is that if paramedics arrive on scene and transport you to a hospital in an ambulance, it means you will be seen at the hospital quicker or mean more in an accident case or something,” Justin explained. “If we tell you that maybe you could wait or go on your own, listen to our advice.”
He also added, “Paramedics and EMTs are going through a very rough time coming out of the pandemic where people ignored basic hygiene. They are tired and the system stressed to the breaking point. Also, learn CPR with a friend. You never know when they’ll need it.”
If you’d like to hear more stories from Justin, be sure to check out his blog The Happy Medic right here.
I’m nothing special, just a regular office worker doing her thing. It’s very chill and I like what I do; while not incredibly inspiring, the best day on my job was the day my supervisor just kinda stopped typing, looked pensive for a few moments, and just went “You know Shorty, we really don’t tell people enough when they’re appreciated. I just want you to know we appreciate you”.
I have gone through years of low self-esteem professionally-wise, with a myriad of agonizing jobs where I was made to feel small and that my job was a huge favor to me. Just hearing someone say I was valued was so huge for me, I still remember it was on August 11th.
Image credits: ShortyColombo
Volunteer firefighter. We had an apartment fire, not too bad, but thick smoke to the floor. Partner and I did a search of the living room, with me leading. I was on the wall under a window when I found a large cage with a small, furry ball in a corner. I called to my partner,
We finished the search, grabbed the whole cage, and hauled it outside. The poor thing wasn’t moving, was covered in soot, and had blood on its muzzle. Sorry, buddy.
We went back in, mopped up a hot spot, and helped with overhaul. When we came back out, someone said, “Hey, that critter was moving!”
I pulled the ferret out of the cage, and hustled to the ambulance. My dad, an EMT, hooked up a nasal cannula to the oxygen, and we got the tubes lined up with the ferret’s nostrils.
A few seconds later, it perked up, wiggled a bit, and opened its eyes.
After a trip to the vet and a bath, he was good as new.
He lived for 5 more years.
In 17 years of firefighting, he was my only live rescue.
Image credits: Jef_Wheaton
Journalist. I wrote a story about a building the city couldn’t give away. Had tried for 3+ years. I wrote the line “It’s the building nobody seems to want, despite offers of city council members offering to pay the $1 transfer fee.”
Three days later five offers came on the building, it’s now being turned into a community center by a local nonprofit who will use it for a number of purposes.
Image credits: DrShadyTree
One of my students was accepted to Harvard. His mother said I should ask him to show me his application essay. The essay was literally about the impact I had on his life. Not gonna lie- I cried.
Image credits: harpejjist
I volunteer at a nursery sometimes. This one kid (about six) came in with bruises up and down his arms. He was acting jumpy, and asked me to follow him. He brought me into an empty classroom, and pulled down his pants. There were gruesome burns and whip marks up and down his legs and buttocks. I called the cops, and when the kid was told that his mother would never hurt him again the smile on his face made my f*****g day.
Excuse me while I go cry in the corner.
Image credits: anon
Very early in my career as a criminal defense attorney, I had a black college student charged with a shooting. It was getting a lot of media statewide due to one of the people involved being a professional athlete. After investigating, I became convinced that he was innocent and the actual shooter was probably one of the state’s primary witnesses. I had only had a few jury trials at that point and they all were defendants that were guilty as hell but refused to plead out. I didn’t have a ton of faith in either a jury or my own ability to handle the case/consequences.
I worked my a*s off in preparation. Once we started trial, I realized I was knocking down every piece of evidence that the state was presenting. I was pumped with adrenaline and growing confidence. I tore up their star witness, who I thought was probably the actual shooter. One of the jurors actually laughed at the guy in disbelief of some of the things he was testifying to. I gave a thirty minute closing argument without even looking at my notes with the jury nodding along to everything I was saying. They were out 20 minutes and came back with a not guilty verdict. Front page news article in the biggest papers in the state. Client’s mom is hugging me a crying with relief in one of the photos.
That guy still calls me up once a year to check in. Married, kids, solid white collar job. I always think of that case when I start to have doubts about doing defense work.
Image credits: WinterPush
This story does not have very high stakes but it still brings a smile to my face. I use to work at a certain video game retail store. One day a mother came in with tears in her eyes. Her son stole rent money and bought a psp with it. She was such a kind lady and she explained her situation. She knew that she could only get a fraction of the money back in case but she needed it for rent. She was looking to trade it in for cash. She had read the receipt and knew she was past the one week deadline and was not even trying to get a refund. So I quickly jumped on the computer and moved every psp out of stock. Then took her psp and smashed its screen on the counter. I then gave the shocked woman a smile and apologized that she had been given a broken psp. I told her that, while I would normally be happy to trade it out for a new one, I was unable to at the moment as we were fresh out. So all I could do was give her a full refund. She was so greatful and kind. I was really happy to be able to do that for her.
Image credits: Nilocmirror
We saved a couple of kids stuck in a locked warehouse. It made my day seeing their faces after we had rescued them.
Image credits: esev12345678
I worked at a bicycle shop doing the basics: sales, bike builds, repairs.
One day this homeless man comes in asking if we could help him out with his bike, but he didn’t have a way to pay for any service. The store owner was out for a bit and we were unsure how he would feel about us doing free work.
My co-workers and I were hesitant to get too involved or really even look at it, but it’s hard to turn down a person in obvious need. We figured we could just turn a quick wrench or make a minor adjustment and get him back on the road.
It turns out that his rear cassette was busted (I don’t remember what was wrong with it specifically) and needed to be completely replaced – bummer, not a quick fix.
It turns out that we would often find abandoned bicycles leaning against our rear exterior wall. I ran out back to see if we’d get lucky and scavenge a used cassette.
No luck that day.
However, we WERE right next to a popular donation station that had drop offs all the time. As luck would have it, a man was unloading a bunch of items out of his truck, including a couple of bicycles. I ran over to him before he pulled the bicycles out and asked him I I could have one for parts. He was giving them away anyway and didn’t particularly care where they went, so he gladly gave me one.
I wheeled it past an unapproving donation station worker, but since the donation hadn’t happened yet, he had no recourse.
My co-workers and I teamed up on the swap and got the man on his way as quickly as possible.
Once the man left with his now functional bicycle, we all took a second to smile at each other, feeling like we did something awesome for a fellow human being.
It’s amazing what a difference five minutes can make
Image credits: _etherbunny
I’m a crisis counselor and negotiator for a police department. The morning of this day, I got accepted to PA school. It was such a joyous occasion. My first case at work was a kid who was hanging off the edge of a tall building. I remember walking up and thinking “not today.” We talked for several hours. We talked about important things and small things. Eventually, he came back over the ledge and I was able to shake his hand. This job can come with some very bad days. But that day I walked away from there feeling so fulfilled. That was my best day.
Image credits: StruggleToTheHeights
I work in a theater. It can be a very stressfull environment depending on they type of show and client.
A youth group came in for a two week show run a few years ago. Some of the kids act, some have technical roles and some help out back stage with scenery and props.
This time around I was the lighting designer/operator. One of the kids that got assigned to help with lights was an 11-year-old with cochlear implants. His implants worked great and he could have a regular conversation with anyone. The one thing that gave home trouble was the ClearCom headset. (What the crew uses to talk to each other during the show) It was bulky and interfered with his implants, it also didn’t give him the best sound quality.
During the course of our conversations he mentioned that he could also take an AUX input into his sound processor, and showed me the mini stereo jack that allows him to do that. The gears in my brain immediately started spinning.
That night I went home and looked up the schematics for the ClearCom system. The one we had was relatively simple. Through some studying of the schematics I determined that I could make a cable that was 4-pin XLR on one end and mini stereo at the other end. This would allow him to plug his processor into the system and hear what everyone is saying.
I brought the cable in the next day and we tested it out. It worked! The kid was super stoked but more than that his parents could not thank me enough for taking the time and care to do something like that for the son.
Best day of work ever.
I also let him keep the cable I made so no matter which theater he went to he could plug right in.
Image credits: shavemejesus
I was a preschool teacher for low income families, it was heartbreaking every single day. Kids who came to school dirty and hungry, who only get to eat meals at the school- drug addicted parents, just… so hard. I had about 17 children in my class and I truly loved every single one of them. I gave them 150 percent of myself every day, and thought about each one of them every night. One day, one of my kids was having a really rough day, he was acting out and hitting and crying and very angry. I pulled him aside to have a chat to see if I could help and he just fell into my arms and cried for 5 minutes straight, turned out his dad had gone back to jail the night before and this time wouldn’t be getting out soon. I helped him “write” a letter to his dad and he drew a picture of them together and by the end I guess he was feeling a little better. I got up but his little 4 year old hands pulled me back down and he grabbed my face with both hands and looked me straight in my eyes and said “I love you so much miss ——— (my first name) u make my heart happy” and I fought back tears and told him how much I loved him too. I still think about him and that moment years later and how even on the darkest days man.. kids are just full of love. I had a lot of moments like that working with kids, but this one is seared in my heart forever.
Image credits: catsbluepajamas
We had a wedding! Back in the 1980s, Out patient George was dying of an aggressive cancer. He and his significant other Martha had been together for 46 years. They had lived as husband and wife and raised a family, with Martha being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker, as was common back then. An LPN was giving her a lift home and learned that they were never legally married. Martha would have no rights as his to his pension as surviving spouse, or social security (was too late) or as a spouse inheriting the house. The social worker confirmed there was no common law marriage. So we planned a wedding right there in the hospital.
George’s doctor signed the forms saying he could not appear to obtain the licence, and someone took Martha to get the license. We all pitched in to get rings and some flowers. One of the nurses brought a little white fascinator for Martha to wear. We had some recorded music. The hospital chaplain performed the ceremony.
The wedding was joyful event in a sad situation.
Image credits: allthedifference
I was a teacher in a low income-charter school, which you may recognize as a recipe for disaster. The school was poorly run, we had to provide most supplies ourselves, and had unreasonable and unrealistic expectations placed on us. I was teaching 1st grade at the time. We had a rule that only one child could be out of the classroom at a time, no matter what. I had 30 kids. Eventually, one of my kids had a bathroom accident (I have to say here, if I knew he had to go that bad, I would have let him go rules be damned. He never gave any indication that it was an emergency). He did his best, but 1st graders have small bladders. I got him a change of clothes and minimized his embarrassment as much as I could. His mom was furious. She came in the next day and spent a solid 10 minutes screaming at me. A dean finally came and escorted her away and I thought that would be the end of it. It wasn’t. She stayed at the school the entire day and just…watched. She saw what the teachers were going through and what we had to deal with. She came back to me at the end of the day and apologized. She was my biggest supporter from then on and if I needed something, she had it for me. On the day I quit, she hugged me and told me that I was too good for that place and it was her son’s last day too. Obviously, I’ve had better days than that in my career, but that was a day that gave me hope and helped me not give up my career due to one bad school.
Image credits: talibob
When I was in EMT school my very first call I had ever gone on was a fall with a leg injury. I dont remember much from it but I still remember the patient just holding my hand while I was doing her vitals. The entire time she just complimented me it was honestly pretty heartwarming
Image credits: salaambrother
Paramedic here. My best ever job was on a hot summers day in Australia, we were called to an 11 year old boy that had drowned in his family pool. I was halfway through a foot-long meatball sub when it happened and damn near s**t myself. We were about 5 minutes away, and when we arrived the boy’s mother was providing CPR while his 8 year old twin sisters watched on, horrified. I check the carotid pulse (non-existent) and started to take over on compressions, my partner started to unpack the defib pads while our student toweled the kid off. Defib comes back showing Ventricular Tachycardia (one of the only two shockable rhythms), so we hit him with the lightning and he instantly went back into a sinus rhythm (normal heart rhythm). Kid then began to splutter, we rolled in him into the recovery position to help him get the water out of his lungs. In such a high octane situation, it honestly felt so good to be able to successfully revive somebody. I still think about that job any time that I wonder why I’m in this profession.
Image credits: anon
Policeman in small town. Got a call to try and locate a woman who was on the heart transplant list. She wasn’t answering her phone or pager. Early 90’s and she didn’t have a cell phone.
It was in the middle of the night and cold in the middle if Feb.
I knocked on the door of every neighbour on her culdesac without success.
Last house on Culdesac which was across the street told me she’d gone to her mothers out of town. Was able to get her number and contact her.
She got a new heart that night.
I’m retired now and still she her on occasion.
She always makes a big deal and hugs me.
She’d forgotten her pager and didn’t go back to get it thinking what are the chances they’ll call tonight……
Image credits: Steveg27
I did my year-long internship at a university counseling center. While we normally only saw clients for 8-12 sessions, we were allowed to have one longer-term client to give us more experience. Mine ended up being this wonderful young woman who was deeply depressed. She was an identical twin. Sessions were slow going at first and there were a lot of tears. She worked through a lot and she was much better by the end of our ~10 months working together. My supervisor and I talked about her frequently and she watched tapes of our sessions.
The next year I was on my post-doc and I got a call from my former supervisor who had just started seeing my client’s twin in private practice. The mother of the two, not knowing who my supervisor was, started talking to her about how her other daughter had gone to therapy and how her therapist had changed her life.
My supervisor called me to tell me this because, as she well knows, we don’t get to hear that very often.
Image credits: Ayzmo
I am a mother and a grandmother. Rest assured, it IS an emotionally difficult job.
My worst day on the job, in the fairly recent past, was having to Be with my daughter and her infant son after one of his six open heart surgeries while at home my father was dying.
My Best day on the job, in the fairly recent past, was learning the a heart had been donated and our little guy was going to have a transplant. His 7th surgery. He survived and is doing very well now.
Being a parent, despite it being a Common job, doing it to the Best of your ability, is emotionally difficult.
Mine is kind of lame compared to the others but I worked at Kay Jewelers and we had a young man who had put a ring on layaway when I had first started, he diligently came in every 2 weeks to pay off the ring for almost 8 months. On his final payment he brought his girlfriend in to “ring shop” and she picked the exact ring he’d placed on hold so long ago. He said let’s buy it and she got so red and said there is no way we can afford that. He went to the counter leaving her with me to look at other stuff. He came back and proposed to her right there in the store and she cried and said yes. It was so adorable and they came back about a year later to pick out a band for the wedding. The best part was the two of them had been working hard and got promoted at their jobs and he bought the new ring out right.
So, I work a pretty physically demanding job. If it is cold outside, you are cold. if it is hot outside, you are twice as hot. It gets rough. To make matters worse, parking is atrocious, so I have to pull into the parking lot BY 5 AM to start a 7 AM job, which means I am up at 430 EVERY weekday and most weekend days. So needless to say, it can be very draining.
Well I got in one day, and was surprised to find that I was assigned to take a ride on a tugboat to take a barge from our shipyard to another one in order to switch out cranes. All I had to do was untie the replacement one, and tie down the broke down one. 10 minutes worth of work. The rest of the day was travelling to and from the other shipyard. despite the heat of the day, the breeze on the water was perfect. Seeing the city from the water made me realize they designed the city around being aesthetically pleasing from the water. Best day ever! even better than the days where we get in and have nothing to do. Because even then you have to make yourself look busy. But not on the water because there is nobody out their looking over your shoulder.
My first shift as a driver for a catering company. We had a food stand at a concert venue and my only duty was to drive there and drive back. I wasn’t sure what to do during the show so I just hung out on a bench for a while until my boss told me to go enjoy the show. Got $15/hr and free lunch to watch Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Tom Jones, Brian Wilson, and Neil Young.
I’m a hospice chaplain, working with all kinds of people and families who are grappling with the reality of death and how they will handle it. One day I’m doing my scheduled visits and I get a call from one of our nurses. One of our patients is actively dying and her husband and daughter would appreciate a chaplain visit for prayer. Walking into the room, the daughter is pacing at the foot of the bed while the husband is sitting in a chair near the head of the bed, with an older woman lying there. At this point she’s breathing slowly, but her eyes are just blankly staring and she doesn’t really react to anything. I introduce myself, talk with the family about this woman and her life, and pray with them about her finding peace and then finding a way through it all. Standard chaplain stuff. At the end of the prayer though, I notice her breathing rate is really declining. We’re down to maybe a breath every 10 seconds and still slowing. This is likely it. So I just ask the husband, if this was the moment that she dies what would you want her to hear from you? He paused, looked at her as he held her hand, and thanked her for all the years they shared and for being together even to this moment. Through tears he assured her he would be alright and just kept telling her how she made his life something worth living through all the years they shared together. As he said all this, she took her last breath. And that was it. The family asked if she had passed away, and I affirmed that I thought she did and offered them a quiet moment with her before we had a doc confirm it. But for me, hearing the story of a life lived well and shared well and helping that man both hold onto her and let go of her…That was a good day.
This sounds f****d up, but one of my absolute best moments was taking care of one of my friends (a police officer) after he was hit in a gunfight. Paramedics usually wait at shootings until the scene is secured before going in. I said f**k that. I rolled in and stabilized him while my crew caught up in the ambulance. As I was working on him the other cop mentioned that there were casualties in the house. Since he was stable I went in to see what I could do for the others. The perp was handcuffed face down, obviously dead. The other person in the house had been hit multiple times, so I got to work. She lived. I found out later that there was a bomb in the room five feet away from where I’d been taking care of her.
Unlike a lot of the other intense calls in my career (many of which haunt my nightmares), being the first medic in to take care of a friend in a terrible situation felt really good. It made all of the horrible s**t I’d been through before worth it.
911 dispatcher – a juvenile called me completely hysterical because someone was following her in a vehicle. They were both travelling at a high rate of speed. I got her to calm down and gave her directions to our PD. She ran inside and locked herself in an interview room until officers got into the lobby. I was so relieved that she made it safely.
I did a stint in customer support and really helped this one lady, a receptionist in another state, who kept answering my “is there anything else I can help you with?” spiel with one problem after another. The call went on forever and by the end of it we were fast friends.
Just before she hung up though she said “people who are the most helpful tend to need help themselves, so, is there anything I can help *you* with?”
That struck a chord with me for some reason. I jokingly bounced some relationship issues off her like a Dear Abby reader and she did not find it funny. In fact she asked if I was serious and pressed for details about how my girlfriend treated me, which I provided because the severity of her concern was sobering. Long story short she got me out of an abusive relationship I didn’t even know I was in.
Got a call for a grass fire on a red flag warning day. Took us about 30 minutes to get there and there was already another type 6 (pickup truck + water tank) engine and a J-5 (tracked fire vehicle) on sight. 20-30ft flame lengths and spreading fairly quickly threatening a home and a cabin. Home owner evacuated with her dogs and we started hitting the fire with the J-5s and got a helicopter and two planes in the air to defend the house, and more engines on the way. All in all it was about 10 hours of chasing this thing through grass and swamp and cold trailing before it was declared out. Homeowner returned later in the day in tears hugging everyone despite how filthy we were and wouldn’t let anyone leave as she had ordered a bunch of food for us. Was my first wildfire experience interacting with someone who our work had directly effected and it was a super feel good moment.
I’m a swallow therapist. Had a patient in the hospital with a severe stroke and in a hard cervical collar, swallow was horrible. After the swallow xray I made recommendations of honey-thick liquids and puree solids (swallow was so impaired that he was aspirating normal and nectar thick liquids.) I hate this part of my job. The patient was understandably upset about it and all he wanted at that time was to drink some water.
He came back to the hospital after having a fall at rehab, about a week after I last saw him. I said “Hey, you’re actually looking a lot better, lets repeat that swallow xray and see how it’s going now.”
Swallow was -way- improved! I gave him the good news that his swallow was so much better, I recommene he advances to soft solids and thin (normal) liquids. “You mean I can have water again?!” He yelled.
“Yep, and normal coffee too!”
He had the biggest lip quivering smile and tears in his eyes in sheer happiness at being able to drink normal liquids again. He was so happy and thankful. It’s moments like those that I hang on to, to keep me going in this field.
My best day was also one of my worst days when I worked at Apple. Years ago, a lady came into the Apple Store in her pajamas and looked like a mess. She was crying, cursing and just beyond frustrated. My Manager knew I loved dealing with difficult people (I have no idea why I do), so I got paired with this lady. She tore me apart like all the other employees she talked to. After slowly calming her down I found she dropped her iPhone 4 in the tub and the phone had photos of her baby who passed away from complications. The iPhone would not turn on and water was seen moving in the display.
Now, policy back then was to just replace the phone no questions asked. While this was my option, she also had no backup of her photos and this was before iCloud. I worked with water damage before outside of Apple and wanted to give this a go. I requested to clock out (Apple did not support repairs like this and I knew I would never in a million years get the OK to work on this on company time…) and began working with my own tools and with lots of alcohol. It took about 3 hours, and I was successful to get it to turn on to the point where we could get the phone on and transfer to her replacement via the Bump (or Bumped?) app.
I got to see the photos of her baby and she cried on me for some time. She went back to the store and apologized to everyone, she was living in a Hell since the baby’s passing. My store leader heard the story and called me in her office. Thinking I was in trouble, she let me have some extra Steve days (those were like personal days off) and bought me a great lunch to thank me as well as replaced the time on my timecard.
Former College Faculty – My work involved being with students one-on-one or in small groups giving them supplemental instruction to their course work. In the area I worked in, people who came to my sessions saw it as a weakness compared to some of my other colleagues because they felt “dumb” for not knowing some of the concepts or the software involved.
One student in particular was an older student who was down on herself a lot. She had been in a horrific car accident that left her with some physical ailments as well as PTSD. She also experiences some memory issues as a result as well. It was hard working with her because a lot of the time she let her frustration get the better of her and she would shut down. Being the kind of person I am, it was painful to watch and not having anything I say have an effect to try and calm her down.
One day though it was like a switched flipped. She marched into a session sat down and went to work like her life depended on it. She tore through her coursework. If she did not understand something she would have me show/explain it to her. All her frustration seemed to vanish. It was amazing to watch.
I was proud when I got to see her walk across the stage to get her degree and be there on the other side with the counselor who worked with her. She hugged us both. Later on she asked me for a recommendation for a Masters program which I happily wrote and she just graduated from it this year.
I’m in IT support. I had to stay 5 hours after the office closed to get set up for a webcast which I’d only heard about as I was gettig ready to go home. AV set up, all that. I hadn’t done it before.
The webinar was being broadcast to all our offices around the world. Our CIO was travelling between offices and was actually in ours, where the webcast was being broadcast from. After it was all over he jumped up before we cut the feed and introduced himself, and then thanked me for getting everything set up and working in such a short space of time. Felt good!
I posted this story before but I was taking a CPR classes where the instructor was a retired cop. He told us a story of showing up to call with two boys, around 6 and 8, that had fallen into a pool not knowing how to swim. He said they were blue. He started to administer CPR when the mom stopped them. She said that they were Christain Scientist and that sickness is an illusion and all that. She said that God would heal them. He basically said “Not today he’s not.” And did it anyways while she screamed and tried to get him to stop. He was able to revive both boys. He said he chewed out by his supervisor saying that he shouldn’t have done what he did, but the supervisor did it with a wink.
I work at a public library. I was at the information desk one day when a patron came in asking to use our printer. I helped her print out some immigration documents and as we were walking back to the desk, saw her look around at all of the books and DVDs. She asked me quietly how much a library “membership” was. When I explained everything was free, she started to tear up. She got her first library card that day. I would see her all the time. She started taking advantage of the English language classes we offered and regularly thanked me for the “free membership” 🙂 Working at public libraries is tough but periodically it is so worth it.
I work in tech support. My department was essentially being outsourced but our manager didn’t have the balls to tell us. Instead they had us doing lower level work to “help the queues” but it was basically preparation to demote us.
One thing I’ll say about my company is that they never lay off anyone, they will always find a position within the company to move someone to if a department goes away. It was October and I didn’t want to be out looking for a job right before the holidays. So while everyone in my department essentially rebelled against this move, I put my head down, did the best I could and just remained thankful for having a job.
I didn’t realize that my attitude was getting noticed by the higher ups. One of my managers was a total prick but the one right below him seemed to have some semblance of a soul left.
She walked up to my desk one day and asked me to put my current call on hold. I truly thought I was being walked out (we didn’t yet realize they weren’t going to lay people off) but my manager set 2 concert tickets for my all time favorite singer down on my desk.
She had gone to my previous supervisors and actually took time to find out what would be really meaningful to me because she said I was the only person in the department coming in and giving 100% despite crazy changes and upheavals. I started crying. It was the first time I felt like just showing up, doing my job & putting in a bit of effort mattered.
Just a couple months after that, I was actually promoted and I’m still with the company today and doing what I really love within. I’ll never forget that day, I’ll never forget what it felt like to truly be recognized for my work ethic. I am a hard worker and I don’t have it in me to be like “f**k the man” because hard work has gotten me up the ladder & procured a decent life for me. It was so nice to see a return on that state of mind.
I was working at a retail store 2 summers ago. It was a trendy place where only “attractive/Instagram model,” types were hired (not sure how I got the job with that criteria). One day Gwyneth Paltrow came in to shop with her daughter and told me “I love your outfit.” She didn’t really talk to/compliment anyone else. I really appreciated it because out of all the other people that worked there, I would say I struggled the most financially (everyone was younger and either living at home or got substantial help from their parents and lived on their own, traveled all the time, always bought new clothes, partied, while I am putting myself through school with no help and paying rent), and some days I could hardly pay the transportation to get to work. It might sound superficial, but I thought it was really funny that a millionaire told me that I looked well put together even though I was like struggling to feed myself at the time.
I’m a physician. Some years ago, I was a resident on obstetrics on my FIRST DAY, FIRST HOUR of my shift and I watched a pregnant woman almost die and give birth to a baby boy that ended up dying shortly after due to the complications of childbirth. The boy required extensive resuscitation – it was my first time seeing a “code” on a child, let alone a newborn. However, he ended up with severe brain damage and was eventually taken off life support in the NICU. It was their third round of IVF, and the previous two rounds had failed. It was one of those very unfortunate stories where nothing could have been done – maybe if the woman had presented earlier, but unfortunately, despite emergency surgery, it was too late. Thankfully, the mother survived with no health consequences, but it was emotionally devastating for everyone involved. Multiple nurses were agonizing whether they had done something wrong, my attending had told me to expect a lawsuit. Thankfully, it never materialized. But, that was probably the worst day I’ve ever had on the job. And yet, half an hour later we had to move on and stitch up a vaginal tear on a woman who kept b*tching about how she “had been waiting for three hours already!!!!” but we couldn’t tell her just WHY she waited. So we just apologized profusely for our troublesome tardiness and kept smiling.
Two years later, I was on pediatrics in the same hospital and I was examining a prematurely born infant that was a few months old. As the mom and I were fiddling with the baby, I noticed the mom had a tattoo of a boy’s name and a date below it on her wrist. I looked at the date and realized it was the first day of my residency training. I immediately had chills come over me. I debated for a minute whether it was inappropriate for me to ask that, but I went ahead and asked the mom “Did you, by any chance, lose a baby boy at this hospital on X date?” She said “Yes” and I told her I was the resident who first examined her. We talked about her traumatic experience, as she teared up and said that after that, she couldn’t fathom getting pregnant, or even setting foot on the maternity ward, ever again. Eventually, she said her and her husband came to the realization that they were ready to consider adoption and listed themselves in a North American registry. Then she said one day she got a call saying there was a severely premature newborn available some 3000 miles away. It was an abandoned crack addict’s baby that was left at a fire station. She said they didn’t think twice and booked the flight to go and get the baby. They went through the adoption process and the baby was now thriving, several months old, developing well, and cared for by a loving family. She said she felt that her and this baby were meant to find each other after both traveling these extremely difficult paths.
It was probably the most heartwarming story I’ve ever come across and it was so relieving to hear that this woman (and the abandoned baby) all found their happy endings. So, I would say it was my best day on the job.
Image credits: jochi1543
Volunteer EMT here
Somebody called 911 as they were driving when they saw two snowmobiles sitting in a field with two bodies lying next to them. Unwitnessed snowmobile collision in subzero temperatures? We’re probably gonna end up dragging a pair of frozen corpses back to the truck. Hope neither of them is a child.
We had two ambulances and God-knows-how-many police cars cruising up and down the highway searching for this scene. The caller was still on the line, but he had kept on driving and was nowhere near the crash site. He was also unsure of exactly where he saw it–first he’d said it was near a church south of a certain intersection, but the only church on that stretch of road was *north* of that intersection. Meanwhile our victims are out there freezing to death.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, but was probably less than 30 minutes, somebody realized that a certain pile of debris about a quarter of a mile away from the road looked kind of like a couple of snowmobiles when viewed from a certain angle. Dispatch confirmed a few more details with the caller, and we were all relieved to find that the hopeless scene we were all dreading was actually just a pile of c**p some farmer left in his field months ago.
Military – we were on a natural disaster deployment (hurricane) and it was super last minute so dining arrangements hadn’t been contracted out and no one even knew where they were going. We get to the first location where we were going to bunker down for the night and were told to go to the grocery store that was still open and get whatever supplies we could. Randomly, there was a Chinese restaurant still open throughout the hurricane. The first shirt authorized us to order dinner there if we wanted as long as no one got hurt. We had SO many orders placed at the restaurant that night. They were happy, we were happy. The next morning our civil engineers jerry rigged a coffee maker so everyone could have coffee before setting out to our next location. It was the worst tasting coffee I’ve ever had, but everyone was so grateful and it was a huge morale booster. We break up and head out to our next locations. We’re at a place where everything is closed and destroyed. Still no dining contracts. So we go to whatever convenience stores are still open (we went by the busload because we had to drive aways to get to them) and buy out whatever they have. Candy bars, chips, it was basically all junk food. After almost a week of eating garbage (all that junk food sounds great, but after a week my body felt like hell), a local restaurant re-opens to provide dinner for us. I had a completely basic garden salad that tasted like heaven. We also came into the dining area to see a door was plastered with letters from the community thanking us for the help. Best week ever.
Edit: I want to add that we were *not* the heroes of this disaster, we mostly just did clean up and surveying.
Image credits: anon00000anon
I work at a bookstore chain cafe and we had a trans mtf regular. She went from Robert to Barbara and we got to watch the transformation. At first she started as robert the regular, who was quite talkative but very nice, and slowly started opening up about how she felt. We were all very supportive of her and we would compliment when she would wear more feminine clothing or nail polish. I remember vividly the day she told me her name was officially legally changed and she was so excited because it had been a hassle. On a weekend night when most of us who had been close with Barbara were working, she came in in a beautiful Cinderella style dress and a giant cupcake from a famous bakery in New York. She told us that she was moving away and wanted to thank is for being so kind and understanding and accepting of her as the person she was and how much we and our kindness meant to her. I haven’t seen her since but I think about her from time to time and hope she is still happy.
Edit: I realize the title says emotionally difficult jobs. While retail can be that way, it doesn’t compare to things like police work or doctors or therapists. My apologies.
CNA i was at a memory care place rough job but it was late one night and one of my favorite residents was still up. I had made a mocha for myself and was sitting at a table with him just having small talk, then he asked what i was drinking and he had never had a mocha before. I made one for him and his face just lit up. It was so sweet and those small things really make the bad days worth it
Nurse here. I was a student on a cardiac unit and there was a lady there waiting for surgery. She and her husband spoke little English, although their friend was there sometimes to help translate.
The night before her surgery her husband and friend left and I helped her take a sanitizing shower to prep for the next day. My preceptor told me her surgery was extremely risky and carried only a 20% chance of success. Neither of us were sure if she understood this fully, but she knew it was necessary and she was scared.
I kept thinking it might be her last night on earth and she was here all alone. Through broken communication her last words to me that night were her thank yous because she said we were so sweet and caring in a time when she was so afraid. I didn’t care whether I was allowed or not, but I gave her a strong hug before I left that night. On the eve of surgery she was all alone, regular hospital meal, with little ability to communicate. I left with a terrible sadness.
I was relieved when I did see her the next week when she demanded more hugs and asked why I wasn’t her nurse again.
There are days we see someone for the last time, and sometimes we never find out. Then there are days when things go well and people remember the kindness they received instead of their fear.
Image credits: ironmaven
ICU nurse in training.
I did my cardiac care internship (just a couple of weeks) and I distinctly remember this one English couple that went through our hospital.
They were on holiday when the wife collapsed due to a heart infarction and was (successfully!) resuscitated by her own son (15!) and the paramedics. She was in the ICU only for a couple of days and was then transferred to the ccu.
She was getting better each day, and each and every day her husband profusely thanked us. He went as far to bring stuff like donuts, cookies chocolate etc to the nurses on the ccu (it’s not a big team). She after a while went to the normal ward and the next day she was cleared to fly back to England again by our doctors. The husband came up to me (with another share of donuts) and was so thankful for the staff helping his wife, tears and all. How happy they were they could go back home and see the children again.
That’s what keeps me going, not necessarily the thank yous, but to see we made a huge difference. It makes me proud of what we do 🙂
I work physical rehab in a skilled nursing facility. I had a young, early-40s patient with a hereditary degenerative condition who had been in different hospitals and facilities for months. In addition to genuine pain and disability she was being very self-limiting–unwilling to do pretty much anything for fear of it increasing her pain levels. Bit by bit a coworker and I convinced her to first roll over, then sit, then stand, then spend longer and longer periods out of bed. Finally, we got to the point where we were able to do a home visit, and you could see her remembering what it was like to be in her own space. That light of desire to go home was in her eyes and she worked harder from that point on, and two weeks later she was discharged. Helping her into the car and waving it out of the parking lot was the best feeling I’ve had so far in my career.
Tl;dr: Was able to help someone go from bedridden inpatient to home in a wheelchair after months of painstaking work.
Image credits: HeadFullOfBrains
Had a summer job selling ice cream. We had a little boy with autism come in with his family and later freaked out because the different flavors touched so we gave him a scoop of strawberry ice cream free of charge. He later comes up to me and my friend ( I was at the cash register ) asking for an extra spoon. We always keep a few extra spoons in the pockets on our aprons, so I did some “magic” and made a spoon appear in my hand, he couldn’t see the lower half of me because of the wall, and when I gave him the spoon he had the biggest smile I’ve ever seen and ran away to his mom yelling “she can do magic!!” Over and over. Melted me and my friends hearts.
Had another kid come up to me while I was taking an order tugging on my apron to get my attention, so when I was done with the order I crouched down to see what she wanted, and she said: I didn’t know your name but I wanted to give you this anyway. She held out a drawing of a person at the cash register with the text “to someone, from Beth” ( fake name ). Such sweethearts. I love that place
Bear with me— I was a case manager for mentally ill adults. I knew things were tough for this lady, we’ll call her Z. She and I were in our mid 20’s. When I showed up for our meeting, she had a clear hand shaped bruise on her face. And bruises around her neck. She cried when she saw my face, reacting. Neighbors had called the police. They made him leave, but said it was “he said, she said”. She needed a clearer report to get to a shelter on an emergency basis.
She was scared, but we went down to the precinct to make a report. On the way, I wanted to buy her breakfast. Z started crying again, because it was hard for her to decide what she wanted because she was so unused to making even that small choice. Oh, and she told me that he had r***d her once he came back after the police later that night….
The desk officer initially said that he couldn’t do anything, because the report said that it was purely verbal. I am an angry crier, so I then burst into tears and angrily tell him to LOOK at the f*****g HANDPRINT on her face and the bruises on her neck. I tell him more quietly that there is more….. He gets a DV specialist, and a chief from the county happened to be there. And he happened to be a family friend. And he fixed things. We got the right report. And I take Z off to a hospital.
I call work to tell them what’s going on and ask them to cancel the rest of my day. My supervisor has the f*****g nerve to tell me not to get too invested because I know that it’s likely she’ll just go back. I hung up on her. I had no idea, but a co-worker over heard this and went to our director.
I sat in the ER with Z and made plans for her future. What she wanted for dinner, what color blanket she would want for her new room. What her dream vacation would be. I held her hand while they did the rape kit.
Throughout the day I had been calling and working with a DV shelter. They picked her up from the hospital and promised me they had clothes and bedding for her. I went home and cried and cried.
The next day I was ready to escalate to my director, but found she already knew. She had flowers and apologies for me. My supervisor gave me a full apology as well.
Z never went back. I ran into her, and her very nice husband and adorable son about 10 years after. She had gotten her GED. She was working on her BA. She was safe.
On my very bad no good days when I am just destroyed, I remember that day. I was young and it was so hard and she was so hurt and broken. We kept going, together. It mattered.
Edit- Just to say, it would have mattered terribly and been entirely worth it even if she had gone back that very day. To be with her and support her as she did one of the hardest things a person can do -telling in the face of her fear and (undeserved) shame- that was a privilege. I don’t want anyone to think that they somehow wouldn’t be worth this and million times more if they couldn’t leave….
Image credits: 2beagles
Doctor. I was on duty in the emergency unit in a rural hospital in a third world country when two women arrived with >60% total body surface area burns after the gas canister in the school kitchen where they volunteered exploded. Both women were fully conscious when they were brought in. I treated them aggressively – morphine, fluids, burn dressings, intubated both to protect their airways – and made arrangements for transfer to a hospital equipped to treat them further, but this has an extremely poor prognosis due to ongoing damage and associated complications. I was sad but not surprised to hear that the one woman passed away within hours. At that stage I worked in a very fragmented system and since I did not hear anything about the second woman I assumed she died as well.
For some weeks I had trouble adjusting to the idea that the last thing in their lives those two women heard was me saying, “Hi, I’m Dr So-and-So, you got very badly burnt, I gave you some strong pain stuff but I’m worried about damage to your face, so I’m going to give you something to make you sleep and then put a tube in your lungs to protect them, ok?” (paraphrased slightly)
Slightly over six months later I get a call from the sister on duty at the emergency unit, “There is someone here that you absolutely want to see.”
It was the second woman from that fire. She had been through hell – skin grafts, rehabilitation, depression – but against the odds had survived. She also immediately recognised me as the one who said “I’m going to give you something to make you sleep,” but she remembered it more favorably than I did.
It was easily the happiest day of my entire career so far, practicing for +- 11years now.
Image credits: blueginpinktonic
I was a dispatcher for a residential alarm company similar to ADT. I would call people when their alarm was tripped and ask them if they were okay.
One day I received a signal from a residence from a glass break sensor on a window in the bathroom.
When i called the lady was laughing so hard she could barely give me her safety password.
Turns out she was cleaning her bathroom and when she bent over she farted so hard and loud it set off the sensor on the bathroom window.
EDIT: I somehow got a silver while having no upvotes, nice
Image credits: DerpyTheCow47
I used to work on a post surgery unit. Had some guy on the unit a little bit longer than normal due to some complications with the surgery. I don’t remember what they were, but he was there for a couple more days with IV antibiotics. Whenever I would leave the room, I would ask if there was anything else I could get for him? And he would always jokingly respond “New York strip steak and mashed potatoes!” On the last of a couple of shifts that I had an a row, (I was going to go home and not be back for a couple days), so I jokingly made a coupon out of some scrap paper that said “this coupon is good for New York strip steak and mashed potatoes!” Complete with little doodles of mashed potatoes and utensils, etc.
As I was going into the room to give him the joke coupon, a doc came in to tell him that his test results were being on the upswing and he was going to be discharged today. It just happened to be a perfect circumstance of perfect timing. After I gave him the joke coupon, he gave me the biggest hug I’ve ever received from a patient. 🙂
I got fired around the holidays and mentioned to a friend that I didn’t have a job. He got me a job working at a retirement home with him as a server and room cleaning when needed. I was initially hesitant but I started to like it quickly and my residents loved me.
We had a thing where every other day we would change their sheets. Well this woman leaves her room and looks stressed on her way to the laundry room. I asked her what was wrong and she said her husband had surgery and was recovering but wet the bed. She said she’d just wash the sheets and he could just last on the mattress since it wasn’t sheets day. I told her her husband was absolutely not just gonna lay on a mattress and went and got her fresh sheets that minute. She and her husband were both grateful.
I found out next time I came to clean that he was a die hard golden age DC comics fan. Like didn’t even know D**k Grayson became Nightwing old school fan. As a way of thanking me, he handed me a very old copy of Superman 24. He said it wasn’t worth selling but I was welcome to it. It means a lot to me that he thought of me. Some of those old folks were incredible and I miss them very much.
A little girl came in with croup and asthma, she was having such a hard time breathing. I gave her a breathing treatment and some steroids, about 45 minutes later she walked out and hugged me, thanking me for making her feel better. Most patients would have strung me up and beat me because they didn’t get pain meds, but this little girl knew what’s up. Patients like that make the job worth it
I worked as a CNA through nursing school. It was my first job outside of retail and in my job field. There was a gentleman no older than 45 on the long-term floor who had been admitted with a trach after he suffered a stroke. He was also in isolation after he contracted MRSA. The whole ordeal left him bed-bound and unable to speak. I honestly wasn’t sure that he would be able to recover. Fast forward a couple of years. I got pulled back to that floor and had the same gentleman on my assignment. I knew that he was able to stand again thanks to rehab, but when I said hi to him, he replied in a scratchy voice, “Hi.” I was floored, trying to fight back tears. Even on my worst days working as a CNA (and eventually nurse), I still couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
I work as a police officer in a fairly busy city. At the end of a normal 10.4 hour night it’s not uncommon to have 12 calls in my history. Sometimes as many as 15-18.
Last year in January it snowed. I sat under an overpass and did not have to move from the time I signed on, until sign off. Not a single call.
This will probably be buried, but Cardiac Nurse chiming in here. I had a patient who unexpectedly needed an open heart surgery to bypass clogged arteries. He said he had things to take care of at home and was threatening to leave against medical advice, which would likely disqualify him from the surgery or delay it immensely. I convinced him to stay for one more day to talk to the doctors and then helped to set up a plan for him to get all of the pre surgical tests as an outpatient, therefore letting him take care of his personal obligations. He walked back over to my floor from the ICU a month later and a couple of days after his surgery, saw me, and started crying. He hugged me and said that I saved his life and he wouldn’t of done the surgery if I didn’t convince him to stay. Probably the most inspiring moment so far jn my short nursing career. Whenever I have a hard day I think about this guy and it makes me remember why I do what I do. Honestly, I think he helped me as much as I helped him.
I’m in outside sales for a company that repairs structural damage to peoples homes. I had one customer that just retired and purchased their “dream home”. It was a very small quaint little cottage on a tiny river. Very quiet and tranquil area. The husband and wife sold their other house and moved up here more than 2 hours away from their old house and jobs. The house had some bad problems (Water damage, sinking, etc..). After I do the inspection and sit down with them and we go over everything, getting it down to the bare minimum, we have a price. They have no money for deposit or to fix it, but we have financing. We start to apply for financing and I step outside while they talk to the finance company to get it worked out. I am outside for a while, he comes out and is on the verge of breaking down. He was declined and he is worried what he will have to do to fix this house. His wife is on the phone with them trying to get approved and he goes back in the house. After a bit more he comes back out and says she got approved! He breaks down crying, happy crying, as we can fix his problem and he doesn’t have to go back to work as the payment is within their budget. It made me feel so good we could fix their problem and let them still enjoy their retirement and home. I will never forget his tears of joy when he came back outside.
I worked as a certified surgical tech in the veterinary field. We had a young dachshund come in with intervertebral disc disease, it couldn’t walk and it was urinating and defecating all over itself.
We performed the necessary surgery and a few weeks of physical therapy, that doggo worked so hard to get better and she ended up making a full recovery. She was even running around on her last day with us. I’ll never forget you, lil Penny!
Worked for a call center. I know that doesn’t sound emotionally difficult but it is one of the most draining jobs ever. Financial company, a lot of “I know you think this is your money, but as it’s retirement funds and you’re only 30 you’re not eligible to take it yet.” I’d just taken my 10th call of someone cussing me out for this reason in a row when this lady calls me.
She’s young, barely 40, and already crying when she gets to me. Turns out she needs money because she’s about to be evicted as she can no longer pay her rent due to medical bills. Because her husband shot her in the head two months ago. She’s just woke up from a coma, found out she can no longer work at her job as she can’t do the manual labor, she can’t walk, can barely talk, needs to figure out how to raise her daughter as a single parents since the husband is going to be in jail forever and now has nowhere to live.
I couldn’t get her all of the money that day because of the way the system is set up, there’s a lot of documentation needed by law, but was able to get her started for a hardship withdrawal. She spent 5 minutes at the end of the call just thanking me, and thanking God for letting me be the one to answer the phone since she was so scared of what was going to happen.
Call times be damned, I was going to be there for this woman as long as she needed me. She called back a few times after that for follow up and always asked the other reps to tell me thanks again. My last update was a year later when she called to start a new retirement plan with the company she had just been hired to work for.
I worked front desk at a small hotel ~70 rooms. We had an old man stay with us for a long time, approximately 8 months due to being put out of his home by a fire. Red Cross paid for his hotel room so he was more than happy to stay as long as he could. He was a wonderful old man with a heart of gold. He would always come downstairs & talk to me in the evenings, & tell me stories of his life, & family. I eagerly awaited hearing from him daily, he became like a surrogate grandpa to me.
He ended up passing away before his house was repaired, he died of a heart condition in the hospital. Within the next couple of days his son flew in from California to collect his things & he invited all of us hotel staff that knew him to his funeral in a nearby town. We kindly obliged.
After the funeral we all gathered for food & the son was to give a speech. His speech was very touching for all of us to hear because he confirmed many of the stories our guest had told us over the last few months. It was at this time the son talked about his fathers final days staying at our hotel, & how we treated him with utter respect & he considered us his family. He asked the hotel employees if we may stand & the whole funeral procession applauded (in a quiet golf clap kind of way). It was one of the most touching moments of my life. I never expected that. I was very happy to know we had such a positive impact on his final days. I still think about that old man time to time.
I worked at an animal shelter. We got a pit bull puppy named King. He was deathly ill. He had serious mange and his whole body was hairless and scabbed. During his treatment, he spent days throwing up and having nasty diarrhea. He made me so sad. The look on his face was so painful. We didn’t know what would become of him.
But then things began turning around. He stopped getting sick all the time, slowly gained some weight, and his fur came back little by little. Soon enough he was a strong, healthy boy. You could see the life in his eyes. His transformation was incredible. Eventually he was adopted. A few months later, his family sent us pictures of him and he looked like a perfectly healthy, well adjusted doggo. He was loving his second chance at life. It was a wonderful thing to witness and stories like King’s are what make me so passionate about animal rescue.
Peds here- I’ve had lots of wonderful days. One that stands out for me is calling a little boy’s mom to tell her to go ahead and come to the hospital for surgery because we found a matching donor! I’ll never forget the shrieks of excitement in the background as she pulled the phone from her ear and announced “we’re going to the hospital!”
I’m a photographer at a major theme park and it’s emotionally draining on a different level. You deal with grouchy/angry guests while melting from the humid Florida weather….
And I’ve had really awesome days. Probably my best one was this little girl in a wheelchair who reached out to me. I walked over to see if she needed something and all she wanted to do was give me a hug. Her mom, who was sitting with her, gave permission and I hugged the girl. She wanted to play with my hair and I allowed it.
I must’ve spent twenty minutes with this family just talking to them and the girl, learning her name was Jenny and she loved the same characters I did.
Made my ten hour day much brighter.
Graphic designer here.
It was my birthday twenty years ago, fresh out of college, working two go nowhere jobs. I applied to a local print shop a block away from where I was living at the time.
I remember it was raining and I received a call at 7:30 in the morning after working the day before at an office job, then an overnight grocery store job. They wanted me to be there for 8 am to interview for the design job I applied for. Soaking wet, I walked in thinking “There’s no chance I’ll get this, in the state I’m in.”
Hiring manager was one of my former teachers at college. It was the shortest interview I’ve ever had. She called into the other room and said “Cancel the other interviews, this is the one.”
Her manager came in, shook my hand and said “I trust her judgement, completely. Welcome aboard.”
Twenty years later, it’s still one of the best days of my life
I’d been designing this machine along with a mechanical engineer. I’d designed the controls for it and was reasonably sure it would be ok, maybe a few bugs to work out, but the code seemed stout enough.
We powered the unit up, went through the setup cycle and went through the manual cycle. It worked perfectly.
The ME said, “let’s try Auto.” It worked without a single hiccup.
That afternoon, a project I’d spent almost two months straight on ran it’s first product.
The cool thing: the place I worked had a “development clause” for engineering. When you came up with an expansion or engineering plan, it was more or less written in stone. If you went over the date, you were shuffled down the project list. But if you finished before the date, they had a cool little feature.
Every profit from that machine from the date it ran production until your scheduled end date was split up between the people who worked on it, since the company figured that money was a bonus anyway. We’d started production almost a month before our scheduled finish.
I paid off a car and bought a motorcycle.
I’m a district nurse and do all kinds of stuff, including palliative care. There was one patient (an elderly woman) who declined rather quickly, and went from having a visit every two weeks to multiple visits daily for pain relief. I was there for what turned out to be her last two days. She was mostly sedated, but her children were with her, and it was clear that they had all had a close relationship.
I came back at noon to check in and the family was anxious because her breathing had changed. We talked about what to expect, and then before I left, the patient rather suddenly began to have long pauses in her breathing. I decided to wait a little longer, and ended up sitting there with them while she died. Her three daughters were lying in bed with her and holding her hands, and it was a sunny day and the door was open out to the garden. After she died we washed and dressed her together. The whole experience was peaceful and bittersweet.
Firefighter Paramedic here. My best day happened twice so far when I earned my 2 Phoenix Awards….
That’s what u get when a person you find in full cardiac arrest (dead), ends up walking out of the hospital without deficits.
It’s very rare, and really a good feeling when it happens.
Medic here, best day on the job was my “no hitter”, not a single call in 14 hours. Glorious day that was.
Not actually the job but a part of it. It also counts as a work day according to payroll so I count it.
I work in oil exploration on international project sites so I have to fly overseas to and from work sites every six weeks or so. Slight problem: I have a fear of flying, specifically turbulence. One time was heading back from work and had a twelve hour flight across the north Atlantic in winter to get home. For those not familiar, winter is the worst to fly that far north due to turbulence from the jet streams so I was dreading that flight. Whole flight went by without even a bump. Also, got upgraded to business for free and the airline had Mars Attacks on the IFE system. Best of all, was going home for six weeks of break. My favorite work day so far.
I know it’s not something life-saving like an EMT or a nurse, but I used to be a debt-collector for a very major financial institution. As horrible as it was for the victims involved, the hurricanes through Texas and Florida saved my mental health for a month or two. After a year of just being told to f**k off and kill myself by people who made unwise financial decisions, I could finally help those who deserve and need it. People who acquired debt *because of* the hurricanes. I was able to waive fees, credit them back certain bills, discounts etc. I still ended up mutually resigning (forced quitting/firing so they don’t have to pay severance) but that period was nice to be there. To those with strong enough minds to be putting in so many years as a debt-collector; dealing all of the abuse, I salute you. I always try my hardest now to be nice and straight-forward to legitimate call center workers as to not waste their time and keep the day flowing positively.
EDIT: life-saving, not live-saving
I am a cardiovascular technologist in a cardiac cath lab. We had the sweetest 80yo female patient come in with a massive saddle PE. She was stable in the ICU, only requiring 6L/min on a nasal cannula, despite her massive PE. We brought her back for intra-arterial thrombolysis and she coded on our table. We did CPR, we intubated her. We were able to give her the TPA to break up her PE before we had to get her into the ICU. We took her to the ICU and stood in the room as her husband came in and saw her while the physician explained what happened and what the plan would be at the time. Once the doctor left, the husband told me, tears streaming all the while, a powerful story about his experience with miracles and his belief in God.
The intensivist was not optimistic about our patient’s prognosis, but our interventionalist was. Slowly she began to improve, and 2 days later, I saw her sitting up, extubated, and joking with her husband. She thanked us for everything we did, and her husband did the same with tears in his eyes. I’ve never felt so bonded with a patient, and I will never forget the look of eternal gratefulness in their faces, especially the husband’s. It had still been the most rewarding day of my career.
We once had a wedding for a patient. He was dying but not in good enough health to even go home. They had been together for 15 years but never married and his dying wish was to marry her and have it easier for her to have benefits once he died. The doc was also a notary so she did the ceremony and we had a local florist bring in flowers for the bride. It was so tender and sweet.
Not a day but about three months all regarding the same patient.
Came into my ward almost skeletal, heroin addict, could see every rib and so on. CT showed multiple ring enhancing lesions in his brain, diagnosis was brain cancer and end of life care was started.
The relatives would not accept it and went higher up the chain and eventually got a second opinion. The second consultant also believed it was likely to be cancer but couldn’t be 100% certain and arranged for a biopsy. In theatre when they tried to biopsy the lesion it burst. Turns out it wasn’t cancer but multiple abscesses on the brain.
End of life care was stopped and intravenous antibiotics were started and continued for months. Nasogastric feeding was started and eventually diet slowly introduced. A few nibbles turned into half a meal, then full meals and eventually two at every mealtime.
Stopped taking his methodone and vowed to never touch drugs again. He came to us almost dead and emaciated, and left with a pot belly about three months later.
Last time any of the ward staff saw him he had earned a city and guilds qualification in interior design.
I was a hospital corpsman and I was assigned briefly to help triage sick call at Recruit Training Command after graduating corpsman school but while awaiting my ship date to FMSS. Anyway, I’m still feeling a bit awkward around RTC because I was in boot camp not long before this and I don’t have any rank to easily differentiate me from recruits.
Day starts off very nice. I’m reviewing complaints in records and putting them into stacks based on priority. I’m working with a super cute HM3 and we’re having a chat while we do our thing. She comments that she never saw some movie or another and I say I have it on DVD and we should watch it sometime. She tells me she’s free that night. Sweet.
So it’s like 9am and I have a date with this super cute colleague. Right on.
Around lunch time I went to the NEX to hit up Taco Bell. There was a division in there getting some phone time in the phone bank which was right next to the little food court area (Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, IIRC). So I grab my tray and turn around to go to a table and am immediately faced with this very big and very angry Chief Recruit Division Commander. He screams “WHAT THE F**K DID I TELL YOU?” and slams the tray out of my hands, sending my chalupa to the ground. IMMEDIATELY after hitting my tray he gets this look of “oh s**t” on his face.
Apparently, from behind, I looked just like a guy in his division. So he came up, thinking he busted one of his guys getting an unauthorized taco and instead just knocked a tray out of an HN’s hand. So he’s super apologetic. Rightfully so, it’s not like Chiefs get in trouble regularly but I have to imagine that he could have had his a*s chewed for flipping a tray even if I was a recruit. Since I was just straight up a sailor with actual rights and means of recourse, this could have gone sideways fast.
So he buys me a new chalupa, still apologizing and then he gives me $20 because he seemed to feel really desperate to get me to say this was fine and we could move on and not make a big deal of this.
So, got a hot date and $20. Pretty solid day, right?
Wait, gets better.
I get back to the barracks, figure I’ll grab a shower before movie night. A guy I went to A School with is clearing out his room. I’m thinking he got ship orders. Nope. He went to Captain’s Mast, apparently, for bouncing checks. Lots of checks. Like, thousands of dollars worth of checks. Skipper kicked him out of the Navy. He was going to the TPU where they also kept guys on restriction. For reasons unknown to me, they let him go to his room to pack up by himself. They expected him to bring everything there to be inventoried and liquidated, as needed, to help settle some of his debts with the NEX. He pulls out a brand new Compaq (ha!) laptop still in box. Asks me if I want it. Umm, sure!
He was going to lose it anyway, felt he might as well give a bunch of s**t away rather than let Uncle Sam take it back.
So, $20, hot date and a free brand new laptop. Outstanding.
Needless to say, the date pretty much punctuated a near perfect day for me.
I didnt have the most difficult job, but I worked in a witchcraft supply shop in Salem MA during Halloween season. So it was extremely busy and we were severely understaffed. It was stressful and I worked WAY longer hours than I should have, but overall I really enjoyed it. Anyways the best memory I have of that place was a woman came into the shop on a really quiet morning (unusually quiet for october). Because of this, I was able to chat with her, ask her where shes from, all that good retail small talk. She was looking at a dragonfly dream catcher and mentioned how she had to buy it because her late daughter collected dragonfly things. She started talking about her daughter and how this was one of the first vacations shed taken since her daughter passed. I could FEEL her sadness when she talked to me, but she was smiling and so gentle and sweet. I dont know what came over me, but I got a rose quartz crystal from the back and brought it out to her and said something along the lines of “this stone symbolizes love. Your daughter may not be with you, but she loves you so much, and I think you should have this” and I gave her the stone. We held hands and both cried a little, and then afterwards we were like “well that was weird”. I still cant think about her without tearing up a little. I hope shes doing alright wherever she is.
I’m a nurse. I had a patient that was very sick. She was passing out in bathrooms and having a lot of GI issues. Turns out, these symptoms were because her heart wasn’t beating fast enough and she needed a pacemaker.
Unbeknownst to me, someone took her to the bathroom. A physical therapist called me frantically that she needed help. I went in and she was pale, diaphoretic, really low blood pressures. Her heart rhythm went crazy and she passed out on the toilet. This was a big lady but we somehow managed to get her onto the floor, stabilize her, get her up and into bed. She went down for a pacemaker shortly thereafter.
She didn’t come back to our floor, but she made her new nurse call me from her procedural unit to tell me we/I saved her life and she wanted me to know how much better she felt with the pacemaker and how thankful she was.
On my unit we have very few good outcomes. To this day, I think this was the best one. It was amazing that she took the time to have her new nurse call me and tell me that. I didn’t save her life, we all did, but it was the first time I felt like I had a part to play in a very happy outcome.
My client who has spent almost 3 years in jail waiting for trial on 2 cases visited me at the office. He was a short scrawny little kid and he grew up big and tall while in jail, something I really didn’t appreciate while talking to him through a glass and in big ill-fitting clothes during trials. We talked about complete nonsense b******t for half an hour and promised to meet next time at McDs.
So, this is only tangentially related to the job, but I thought I would share. Years ago I was a customer service rep for a casual video game company – mostly tethered to the phone resetting people’s passwords and such, with some low level tech support via email. Many many sh*tty customers with entitled complaints, with the occasional kind one I was able to help out. There’s something heartwarming about helping a distraught elderly person get their “gem game” (Bejeweled) working again, because they play everyday to keep their mind sharp. But this story isn’t really about that.
Anywho, one day I’m training the New Girl on the email queue, walking her through protocol and such, when I notice dark finger-shaped bruises on her forearms. Now I’m a larger male and I don’t know this lady at all yet, so I’m not sure what to say; they could be happy-fun bruises or very-not-happy-fun bruises. I don’t want to intrude, make her uncomfortable, or force her to explain any NSFW hobbies she might have during her first week, but on the other hand…
I finally muster the courage to gesture to them and quietly say “is everything okay?”. She turns to me with the biggest look of relief in her eyes and wordlessly shakes her head no. That day after work, we head straight to the apartment she shared with her (now ex-) boyfriend to collect her things.
Now, she was understandably distraught that morning so had left the house without her key. But not to worry! She knew that she’d be able to open a window and slip in easily because there was no insect screen. We had taken a few suitcases and boxes down to my car (which included a few expensive game consoles) when it occured to me that I might have been tricked into looting some stranger’s apartment.
It wasn’t until she broke out a cat carrier and captured the cat that I really realized we were okay. She utilized a mix of gentle coaxing combined with a minor bit of stuffing-stubborn-cat-head-into-carrier that I recognized as a cat owner myself (“Get! In! The! Box!”). There was no way this cat didn’t belong to her. I also made a small joke about it later, and she made a point to show me some pieces of mail she had received there.
Anywho, New Girl ended up staying at my apartment that night, and eventually became my roommate for about a year. Cat quickly became a good friend and slept on top of me when I was on the couch. Both are happy and healthy today.
So, not related to the job itself, but probably my best day at work.
Nurse here. I took care of a 4 year old patient who spent literally 5 minutes at the bottom of the pool. He should have died, or at the very least had permanent brain damage and been essentially a vegetable. I took care of him several shifts, watched him slowly improve, and watched him walk out of the hospital, high fiving and joking with the nurses and doctors. We see so many poor outcomes, but it’s miracles like this that push us to keep trying through the hard days and big losses.
My wife saved Christmas!
She works as a Support Coordinator for families with kids with developmental disabilities. One of her families is a single father, who we’ll call Super Dad, who has three kids ranging through 10 to 20, *all* with moderate to high needs, all with different specific requirements, and at the time he was also caring for his terminally ill mother who was living with him, and had been on hospice for I think a year or more. Super Dad is a fantastic parent who sometimes presents as flaky or noncomittal because trying to manage all of that is *a lot*, and things fall through the cracks.
Super Dad’s ex is, from everything I’ve heard, prime r/iamatotalpieceofsh*t material, but Dad continues to try and give her opportunities to be involved in her kids life (or did), because he’s forgiving and wants his kids to have a mom!
So Super Dad saved up a little money, like $100 or $150, to do a Christmas shopping experience for the kids, and he invited mom to come along. He even took the precaution of hiding the money, just in case. So mom shows up, they socialize with kids for a while, and then Dad goes to the bathroom or is otherwise indepsosed for a few minutes. When he comes back, mom is nowhere to be found. He asks his kids where she is, and they indicate she went into the kitchen. He goes in, and finds the place has been rolled, and the money he’d hid is gone, and mom is nowhere to be found. She had *stolen her own kids Christmas money*.
So Dad calls the police, they put out a notice to pick her up, and actually they find her pretty quickly, with, wouldn’t you know it, about the missing amount of money, less some cigaretts and snacks. They call dad to let him know, but explain that, due to the investigative process and whatever all other regulations, the money is evidence, and he won’t get it back immediately.
So he calls my wife at *2:00 on the last business day before Christmas* and explains what happened. She gets off work at 4, for reference, and since it’s the end of a payperiod, she *can’t* go over her alloted time.
So my wife basically puts our an APB to her coworkers (half of whom are already gone), and starts calling up all of the various gift charity organizations. Problem is, most of them have already sent things out, or are about to. They don’t have anything spare, if they have anything available at all, and most of them she can’t even get a hold of a live person.
Finally, at *3:50*, she gets a call back from a place that runs a system where basically the kids get to walk through a warehouse and pick a certain number of things for their gifts to have. They have everything sorted and ready to go, and all their anticipated slots are full, but as she explains Super Dad’s situation, the lady at the charity basically says “Screw procedure, usually we have at least a few families that don’t make it anyway, give them my number. If they can call me tonight, I’ll make sure they get in tomorrow before we officially open.”
And with 5 minutes overtime, Super Dad gets to tell his kids that the next day they get to go pick out Christmas gifts. 🙂
Border Patrol Agent. Lead Agent on scene for the largest cross border rescue in history. Partnered with Mexican officials to locate and rescue 20 individuals ( including a small child) who had been stranded by coyotes and shot at by cartel members.
So on Halloween my boss decided to give everyone a $100 bonus by giving everyone $100 in an envelope but that was just on the nu wool side. The CMS side needed more people so I went over there to help them out and the boss on the CMS ended up coming through with a Winnie the Pooh costume and his kids. They gave them $100 bonuses. since I went over there a lot and help them out whenever they needed extra hands I got another hundred dollars. And they had a pizza party there so I didn’t have to make lunch that day.
I’m a newly qualified nurse, my first placement in NICU. We had a very sick baby who I was told was most likely to die at 2 years old. Her mum couldn’t understand why she was there as she was a term baby. I’d been doing research and I tried my best to explain to her mum exactly what was happening and be a support. On my last day her mum hugged me and said thank you I was very close to tears.
I follow a photographer on Instagram who had take pictures of this baby girl for her second birthday, it was that baby. It still makes me so proud that she defied all odds, she has cerebral palsy and global developmental delay but she has surpassed everyone’s expectations and is able to eat herself. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing her thrive.
Buried now, but I’ve been itching to tell this story.
Had a young patient who suffered a vehicle vs pedestrian accident about a month or so after his wedding. Persistent vegetative state. I worked with him some months after the accident in a long-term acute care ward. I do night shifts, and as I was doing some care I noticed a ribbon tucked under his window curtain. This ribbon was white and every 3 inches or so was tied a small, colored ribbon, and on each colored ribbon was written a well-wish (get well soon, we’re thinking about you, you’re in our prayers, etc.). The white ribbon was several yards long, with probably hundreds of colored well-wishes written on it. It was beautiful, and when I realized what it was I said that absolutely does not need to be tucked into a corner and hid.
So I gathered up every thumbtack/pushpin I could find that night, and I hung that thing around his room, taking care that it didnt go behind the head of his bed (lest a pushpin fall out into his bed, he was defenseless against sharp objects like that). It made 3 circuits with big arcs. It was beautiful, a riot of color and prayer and hope in a rather sterile, dreary, hopeless place. Finished, went home.
Day or so later I met his wife coming out of his room, she exclaimed “you’re the one who hung the ribbon!” Turned out the night I hung it was the night before their first wedding anniversary. She came to visit her husband and saw that. It brought tears and joy to her.
I don’t know if it was the best day ever, but I had a little 3-year old girl with language development disorder, so she didn’t speak but tried to use self-invented sign language to communicate. It’s incredibly hard on a child to have a handicap that is not properly diagnosed and an environment that isn’t appropriately attuned to it. I was able to find a good communication mode with her and we played, I did some developmental testing. At the end of the appointment we walked towards the door together with the parents to say goodbye and she hugged my leg as she didn’t want to leave me. My heart melted.
Veterinary technician here.
Mine was being called in on ER while working general practice. Arrive at the hospital to assist on a c-section. One puppy was stuck and we were pretty sure it was gone already. Owner had not had any rads done and we had no idea how many to expect.
11 puppies later. All alive including the one that was stuck. Was a good night.
I used to work at an animal shelter and honestly had a lot of good days to pair with the bad ones. One of the coolest things I can remember happening was a family came looking to adopt a cat. We had a cat that was having a tough time getting adopted so he got to roam free in the shelter to schmooze with people. Well this family encounters the cat and they don’t just fall in love, they had a huge sigh of relief. The shelter cat was their cat that went missing 5 years before hand. They instantly recognized him and immediately readopted him. It was a really neat twist of fate.
I was in the USAF stationed on Guam when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. They did an evacuation, Operation Fiery Vigil, to get all of our people possible to safety. A lot of them at least came through Andersen AFB on their way back to the states. Because of my job, I was basically sleeping at work on the floor a couple hours here and there while people were processing, as were many others. With the huge sudden influx of people arriving, space was very limited, and people were sleeping wherever. It was rough for single airmen, but for families that had any kids, it was kinda a nightmare in some ways. I was fortunatwe enough to live off base and be able to offer my apartment to a fellow airman who came through with his wife and young child. I just randomly picked them because they were going to be stuck for a couple days before heading CONUS and I felt like a small kid didn’t need to be around all the chaos that was going on. I took them to my place, gave them the keys, told them to eat and use whatever they needed, and offered them the maybe hundred bucks I had squirreled away in the cupboard for an emergency. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s not saving a life or anything huge like that, but for a couple days I was able to give one family that had their lives turned upside down a little break. And I got lots of cool little hand tracings and scribbles to put on my fridge their son left behind for me and a reason to feel good about myself for at least a little while.
Firefighter here. When we run CPR calls, we rarely get a chance to really follow up with our patients. Where I work we do get updates if they made it out of the hospital or not, but that’s the end of it.
A few months ago we had a CPR save of a gentleman who had what we call a “widow maker” heart attack. It is a blockage of the LAD artery, the largest supplier of blood to the heart tissue itself. This type of heart attack has a very high rate of mortality associated, thus the nickname.
He was a huge success story and likely would not have made it without quick intervention (early CPR, early defibrillation) of bystanders and the EMS system. The part that makes this story one of the best days is that he flew his whole family out and they all came to the station to say thank you. It was incredibly rewarding to get to meet him and his family, and to hear about the changes he has made so far that are helping him to lead a better, healthier, and longer life. We very rarely get a chance to “close the loop” on a case like this.
I can’t say why this particular save was so impactful, but there was just something about seeing the whole system come together to save this one man that really made it the best. It’s great motivation to keep doing what we do every day!
I work in residential psych. One day I had to do a training on a day I don’t usually work and figured I’d pick up some extra time in my unit. My boys are relatively low-functioning ASD teenagers. They saw me walk in and I got “Hi! Did you leave something?” I told them I’d be there until bedtime and one of them got the cartoon-happy, eyes-bugged-out rictus-grin expression and started wiggling like an overexcited puppy. Residential is hard as f**k, and I’m burned-out as all hell, but god damn if that kid didn’t make me feel a little better about working there.