One of the goals of our eAntidote blog is to introduce you to the real poison experts who answer the phones at the Maryland Poison Center (MPC). In addition to being nurses and pharmacists, they are parents, grandparents, artists, athletes, sports fans, and more! Read the Q&A below to get to know one of our specialists: Lyn Goodrich.
How did you end up a poison specialist?
I answered an ad in the Baltimore Sun and became one of the first two nurses to work at the MPC in 1985. My previous experience was working in the pediatric unit at a local hospital. I was looking for a change and found one at the MPC. Working at the poison center was different than anything I had imagined doing, but I still had the satisfaction of working with the public — I just used different skills than in the hospital.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Every day is new and different, and there is always something to learn. At first, I had to hone my communication skills and learn how to handle problems that I couldn’t see. Then, I had to build my knowledge of pharmacology. In the last few years, I have taken on new responsibilities as the poison center’s quality assurance specialist, working to ensure that our data is accurate so it can be used to develop guidelines, protocols, and educate the public. But most importantly, I love the people I work with.
Why are poison centers and poison specialists like you important?
Technology, specifically the access to resources and electronic medical information, has sped up a lot of things, allowing me to help someone in half the time that I would have needed when I first joined the center. But, there is a human factor in what we do that cannot be replicated by technology. We can hear if the caller is anxious or unsure of the recommendations we are giving them. We can explain things in different ways to make sure they understand what is happening and what needs to be done. We treat each caller as an individual.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I enjoy spending time with my family—three grown children, one grandson, my husband, and three cats. I am an avid reader and enjoy crafting, especially crocheting and paper crafts. I love the Baltimore area and always make time to enjoy the local theater and food—especially Little Italy. Of course, I also support our home teams, donning orange for the Orioles on Wednesdays and purple for the Ravens on Fridays.