A love of service: What began as looking for a career change became a passionate commitment for Nikki Glass

Published 1:48 pm Thursday, March 28, 2024

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A career in medicine or healthcare is not something to take lightly. Aside from the necessary schooling, it also takes a heart that is both willing to help and serve others, and also strong enough to withstand the tragic losses that inevitably come with the field.

Nikki Glass has fully committed herself to the field. Having previously worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for 15 years, she has since moved to working with Gold Star EMS, having recently been promoted to the position of supervisor.

“I think after about 15 years of doing CNA work, I just needed something new,” she said.

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Of course, Gold Star EMS was not the only option, and when faced with the decision of joining Grady-Decatur County EMS or Gold Star, Glass explained that it was her personal experiences that led her to Gold Star; specifically, it was her passion for dialysis patients.

“I got to taking care of my husband’s grandmother, who had kidney dialysis treatments, and it’s just something I fell in love with,” she said. “They would come get her from the house whenever we’d have an emergency or something, and I just kind of fell in love with it from there. And then when the decision came to, was I gonna work 9-1-1 or was I gonna work something like this, this was a no-brainer for me.”

Dialysis patients make up a large portion of Gold Star EMS, to the point it keeps them fairly busy. “There’s a lot of people that need it,” Glass said. “About 90% of our people in our group is just dialysis.”

While Glassand her crew don’t find themselves out on call with 9-1-1 and public safety offices, they do keep a busy schedule, in part because they have such a set schedule.

“We’re probably a little bit more busy than them because we have more of a schedule than they do.” She elaborated, saying, “They might get five or ten calls, when our trucks are holding sometimes eight or nine calls a piece, and we run out four trucks.”

While working with dialysis patients is what initially drew Glass to Gold Star, serving as supervisor has added much more responsibility to her schedule.

“Being supervisor is scheduling of all the patients that come in,” she explained, “I schedule all the employee’s times, I keep them going, I schedule their daily runs.”

That said, Glass still finds time to go out on calls; working with her patients is what makes the job worth it. “It’s either or to me,” she said, when asked if she preferred supervising or calls. “I love both, because I also love my patient contact, because I love my patients.”

As Gold Star regularly serves the same patients, it makes dealing with losses one of the harder parts of the job. It’s not a job for just anyone, Glass said.

“I think the hardest part of this job is getting used to, and loving your patients,” she stated, “and then when that patient goes, you’ve done created a bond with not just the patient but the family, and with losing them, it’s like losing your family.” Glass encouraged anyone considering working with emergency medical services to “pray about it, but follow your dreams.”

Despite being drawn in by her personal experiences, Glass didn’t intend to stay with Gold Star EMS initially, it was just going to be stop along the way.

“When I first started here, I never intended to stay,” she said. “It was supposed to be for about a year, and then I’d go to the big 9-1-1 gig… I just love this.”

What began as just looking for a change became a long-term career commitment: “I have no intentions of going back to school, I’m really happy where I am… I’ve created a family, the guys here are amazing.”