“C’mon guys! Touch your patients!” Patricia Hotz has been touching patients in the Greater Albany Area since 1979 when she began the Emergency Medical Service program at Darton College. Her list of credentials includes Program Director of Emergency Medical Services, Associate Professor of Emergency Medical Services; R.N.; R.R.T.; NREMT-P; B.S.N.; University of North Carolina M.M.Sc., M.N., Emory University.
Patricia Hotz, “Ms. Trish,” is the absolute shining star of the paramedic profession in our area. At the 2011 Southwest Georgia Region 8 Awards Banquet, Ms Trish had 100 percent attendance from her present crop of 17 students. There are 27 counties in Region 8. Various awards were given for saving lives. She was sitting across from me as some would walk to receive their awards. “He’s from the class of _____!” “She’s from the class of _____!”
They came to yet another award. “The winner of the 2011 Emergency Medical Services Instructor of the Year goes to Ms. Patricia Hotz!” Our class acted predictable as we showed our elation for her deserved award. She graciously went up to receive the award and concealed it in a bag and put it away! She did not put it on the table, kiss the trophy, or anything of that nature. She would not let this be about her. I knew I was sitting in the presence of extraordinary company.
Ms. Trish was a varsity cheerleader for the University of North Carolina. Some of the guys in our class pressed her to bring a picture of her in her cheerleading outfit. She said maybe at the end of the year. I was never absent and I never saw it. Only through the grapevine did I hear that she had a movie made about her. Doc Hollywood, starring Michael J. Fox, was really about the paramedic ambulance driver with whom he had fallen in love. She was none other than Patricia Hotz. Doc Hollywood was Ms Trish’s husband to be, Dr. Hotz of our area. When asked about the movie, she would smile and hit us with the next combination of blood gases or whatever else simply had to be covered that day. She was about her mission in life — making paramedics.
Ms Trish has produced about 350 paramedics over her lifetime. She is one of the most intense persons I have ever met. I’m in the Plains EMS station now between calls serving as an EMS worker. One of Ms Trish’s students is a paramedic serving here. He told me, “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as devoted to her work as her.” Her students are her work. We are how she touches her patients. I’ve done clinical studies with her in Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital ER. While she checks pulses, palpates abdomens and listens to lung sounds, she connects with people. She treats each person as though she were the patient. I provided ambulance transport for a lady in her late 90s. She could no longer speak. She seemed confused and fearful. I started lightly stroking her arm and spoke reassuringly to her. She closed her eyes and peace came upon her countenance. I thought about Patricia Hotz.
If you have lived in this area very long, the chances are good she’s touched you. She has trained many of the EMS workers in Dougherty and Lee counties. Today, I worked with two brand new graduates of her program in Sumter County. Her graduates are in Clay, Worth, Terrell, Crisp and many other counties. Her teaching philosophy is to “See one, do one, teach one.” We in this area are benefited most by her influence, but it reaches wide. As a missionary, I saw illness in Africa I could not touch. I simply knew nothing about it. One day, I think Ms Trish will touch my Africans.
“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2) See one, do one, teach one.