Jackie Wirz’ entry in our contest for Medical Librarians Month tells the story of her journey from a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology to Biomedical Sciences Information Specialist. It all started one night in the ER when she knew that Google was not the right tool.
by Jackie Wirz
Biomedical Research Specialist
Oregon Health & Science University
Sitting in the emergency room, I felt a surprising sense of calm. Going to the ER in the middle of the night was an extreme precaution – although the chemical to which I was exposed could be potentially very dangerous, I was feeling normal (well, as normal as one could feel while doing a 36 hour protein purification). No burning lungs, no severe nausea, just a sense of mild boredom while I was waiting to be seen.
I was told that it was my lucky night, as one of the attending physicians happened to be an expert in chemical exposure. He bustled into the room, firmly shaking my hand while giving me a critical once over. Having ascertained there was no immediate danger; he turned to the computer and asked me to name the chemical I was exposed to. I replied, and watched with mounting horror as he opened up Firefox, and proceeded to Google the name of the chemical. (more…)