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Poison Experts Turn Phone Line Into a Lifeline

Posted 19 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 17 – Trained as a registered nurse to work in emergency rooms and intensive care units, Hugh Rawls did just that until sidelined a decade ago by a back injury. Today, he's still working in emergency care, but from a different angle. For the past 10 years, he has helped man the phone lines at the Poison Control Center in Jacksonville, Fla. "In a lot of ways, there's some similarities in the critical thinking I used as a bedside nurse," said Rawls, 45. "Part of my job is not only to think about what's going on right now, but also to think three steps ahead to what could happen. I have to think ahead as to what could happen to this person and where we need to go treatment-wise." People call the center with a wide variety of problems, Rawls said. "This is very similar to working in an emergency room," he said. "You don't know what's going to come up next. One minute it's a ... Read more

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