For Moose Jaw primary care paramedic Aimée Astick, seeing her own artwork in the April/May issue of Canadian Paramedicine was an incredible opportunity to share a bit of herself — and what her career means to her.
Astick was one of three paramedics included in the feature, titled “Voices of Change: Impressions from the Profession,” and she was thrilled to be chosen.
Her submitted piece features the star of life laid over a rose, one side of which is wilting and the other healed, with a silhouette of a person’s face along one edge.
The entire piece is meant to symbolize the role of paramedics in the act of healing, through not only actions but also words.
“As paramedics, we see the sick, the broken, we come across a lot of things and we’re always there to help people and help make those changes, whether it's medically treating someone or just vocally being there for someone,” said Astick, in describing her artwork.
Being a paramedic was a childhood dream of Astick’s, she admitted, and so she is immensely proud of the support that paramedics get to offer every day.
“I would get excited every time I saw an ambulance with their lights and sirens on, like a little boy would get excited about a fire truck,” said Astick.
Although the job can be taxing sometimes, she finds great pride and joy in the work she gets to do as a primary care paramedic with the Moose Jaw & District EMS.
Representing the experience and the role of a paramedic was one thing that Astick wanted to express in her submission, but the drawing also has another personal meaning to her as well.
Astick uses drawing and painting as a coping method, to help centre herself when she needs to process her thoughts and emotions.
“I do suffer with mental illness and every day is a new day, but when I do struggle, drawing really does help me,” she said. “It relaxes me, puts me in my own little zone, and it helps me unwind and clear my head.”
Usually, said Astick, she puts pencil to paper and just pours out whatever comes to her — which is how she came up with the piece she submitted to Canadian Paramedicine — and it's something she’s only started doing in the last few years.
The opportunity to be published was exciting in itself, said Astick, but it meant so much more because of what her art means in her life.
“It's been a dream for me to be a paramedic my whole life and so be recognized for something, especially something that I am passionate about like drawing and something that does help me day to day, it makes me really happy,” said Astick.
Astick has only been in Moose Jaw for about a year, but she credited her coworkers at Moose Jaw & District EMS with the incredible chance to share her voice in this way.
“It was a nice way to be able to express myself when it comes to this job, in such a positive way, and to be able to show representation of us [as paramedics],” said Astick. “I’m really grateful for [MJ & District EMS] for giving me this opportunity because I never thought I’d be able to do something like this.
The overarching message that Astick hopes to send with her artwork, and with the way she as a paramedic does her job, is a message of trust.
“I just want people to know that no matter what, we’re always here for people and we do want to help as best we can, to the best of our abilities,” said Astick. “No matter what you’re going through, whether your sick or need someone mentally, we’re always there and we're going to help you.”
Check out the April/May issue of Canadian Paramedicine here.