(Ruhiyyih Eady, a 2008 graduate of Conserve School, has earned her wings and her dream job as a flight nurse in Michigan's remote Upper Peninsula. Here, in her own words, she tells of the journey and the excitement of helping others from above.)
"I started out dreaming of being a veterinarian. That was back when I was 8 years old, which blossomed into the most random thoughts of architecture and interior design. That didn't last long though, and shortly after I began my dreams of becoming a nurse. I'm not sure what it was that intrigued me so much, but I knew from very early on that being a nurse was the only thing I could imagine myself doing. Sometime toward the early-mid part of my high school career I settled on the idea that one day I would be a flight nurse and I would fly on a helicopter for a living. The adrenaline rush and the idea of jumping into the unknown had me anxious for the years that I knew would lead up to the possibility of ever fulfilling this dream.
It wasn't until I was waist deep into my pursuit of this hefty goal that I realized just how hard it would actually be. There were setbacks, and then there were more setbacks. There were thoughts of giving up, and there were road blocks that made me think I wasn’t going to make it. I had no idea the amount of time and energy I would have to dedicate to my career. I never realized sleep would become more of a luxury than a necessity! Along the way I’ve taken in every loss, and I’ve celebrated every victory; getting through nursing school, passing the NCLEX, getting my first job in the ED, completing my paramedic program and passing the licensing exams, and finally getting THE dream job!! I’ve learned how important it is to embrace every step of the journey because in the end each part has shaped me, and prepared me for this job.
Today I get to wear the title Flight Nurse/Paramedic, and each time I zip up my flight suit I am ecstatic and humbled. I’m told by those who have been doing this job for years, that this feeling never goes away. I am certain they are right. I’m working for Valley Med Flight in the U.P., we have two fixed wing bases and one rotor base. We fly the most critical patients in either our PC-12 fixed wing airplane or the A-Star helicopter from scene calls or from one facility to another that has a higher level of care. The U.P. is such a remote area that we are very busy, and we do a large amount of scene calls since ground transport times are so long. I’m lucky to say that when I go to work, it doesn’t feel like work at all. I am in love with what I do for a living, and it’s a huge privilege to make an impact on others and strive to always make it a positive one!!
Photos submitted by Ruhiyyih Eady
Sent from my iPhone