One of the goals of the eAntidote is to introduce you to the real poison experts who answer the phone at the Maryland Poison Center. In addition to being nurses and pharmacists, they are parents, grandparents, artists, athletes, sports fans, and more! Watch the video above and read the Q&A below to get to know one specialist, Jen Malloy.
How did you end up becoming a poison specialist?
Growing up, I really liked the idea of being in a medical field because I wanted to help people. During college I participated in a lot of medical research, but ultimately I decided that being a pharmacist was the best fit for how I saw myself helping others. Once I got to pharmacy school, the poison center stood out as a great resource for the community, so I applied for a position as a poison specialist. I have been here ever since!
What do you enjoy most about your work?
When we call to check in on people who’ve called us, they are often surprised. They are surprised to know that we care enough to call back. It’s nice to know that people have seen what we can do, they understand we are a good resource, and they appreciate our help. I love being able to give someone an answer to a question they might otherwise be afraid to ask.
Why are poison centers and poison specialists like you important?
I have a lot of experience and a lot of really specific knowledge. I know that seems like an easy thing to say, but I think it’s what sets me apart from things like internet resources. As poison specialists we’re able to use all of our schooling, training, and experience to give every caller a specific answer to their concerns. We know exactly what questions to ask to determine what each person needs. No two calls are the same, and we pay attention to every detail. I’m proud of the work we do!
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
At home, I’m just like everyone else. I binge watch Netflix, cook, and take care of my pets (birds!). I’ve been fortunate to travel internationally, and my favorite place is Australia.