A quiet, stress-free life doesn’t appeal to Caroline Drury.
The East Tennessee State University sophomore was drawn to the adrenaline rush of emergencies from a young age. The Nashville native says, “At the age of six, I visited Vanderbilt’s LifeFlight, the organization that handles emergency transport to hospitals, and I decided I wanted to be a flight medic. Then I worked as a lifeguard and was able to respond to some medical emergencies on the job.
“I love the feeling of having to think quickly on your feet,” she adds.
After setting the goal of going to medical school and becoming an emergency room doctor, Drury began searching for a good pre-med program. “I learned about ETSU,” she says, “when it showed up alongside schools like Johns Hopkins University—but for a much more reasonable cost.”
After receiving a University Honors Scholarship and visiting the ETSU campus, Drury heard of a friend who trained as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) to work on a college campus. That idea appealed to Drury, who is now a probationary member of the Washington County Rescue Squad.
As part of her EMT duties, Drury works stand-by at venues like Freedom Hall. “I can lean back against the wall and enjoy an ETSU ball game,” she notes, “but I know that first and foremost, my job is to keep people safe.”
Drury is a part of the Honors Living-Learning Community in Centennial Hall and loves the experience. “It’s great to be able to walk down the hall to ask a friend to proofread an essay or help with a chemistry question,” she says.
She has opted to major in anthropology. That wasn’t her original intention, she says, but “I took the honors ‘Introduction to Cultural Anthropology’ course and loved it! My ultimate goal is to work for Doctors Without Borders, and understanding other cultures will be valuable.”
Coming from Nashville, Drury feared life in a smaller town would be boring. Not so. With her EMT duties and involvement in clubs and organizations, among them her recent selection as a member of the President’s Pride service honorary, she says, “Now, I sometimes wish for the occasional boring weekend!”
Often, Drury can be found at the climbing wall in the Center for Physical Activity. She is a member of the Climbing Club. “We have skill clinics to help all levels, from beginners to experienced climbers. We enjoy climbing and hanging out with each other, whether at the climbing wall or on an outdoor trip.”
Drury’s love of helping those in need has drawn her to Remote Medical Area clinics in Knoxville and Grundy, Virginia. She doesn’t mind doing any task assigned and loves the feeling that anything can happen at a RAM clinic. She points out, “I started out in Knoxville by cleaning out spit buckets on the dental floor and ended up assisting with a tooth extraction!”