From trauma unit to basketball court, local woman making crucial calls

April Largent has ability to thrive under pressure

April Largent

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - April Largent knows what it’s like to be under fire. As the nurse manager at Metro Health’s trauma unit, she’s constantly dealing with life and death issues.

April Largent
April Largent (Source: April Largent)

“It is stressful, honest,” Largent told me during a zoom meeting. “I don’t know if you know anything about trauma patients, but literally all of my patients are dealing with the worst day of their life.

“It is super stressful because everyone is angry,” she says. “Nobody wants to be here.”

She does it, because she wants to make a difference. And if you think that’s all she can handle, well ... there’s another arena where things can also heat up, and that’s her second job.

Largent has been officiating college and high school basketball for 20 years. A former college player herself, she knows the game as well as anyone, but ... officials receive abuse, and female officials working a boy’s game? That can get ugly.

April Largent
April Largent (Source: April Largent)

“From the get-go, people judge you,” Largent says. “I’ve been told to stay in the kitchen, I’ve been called ‘lady ponytail’, I had a coach who didn’t like a call have his assistant follow me to the locker room at halftime, and I’ve also had a dad follow me to my car, and he stood behind it and wouldn’t let me leave. I had to show him I was calling the police.”

And she handles it all. That ability to thrive under pressure in the trauma unit carries over to the court. One is just a game, of course, but still requires crucial calls.

“It’s the same with basketball,” Largent says. “If I have a coach that’s a problem, or a fan that’s a problem, or if it’s a rivalry game, I know going into it that we’ve gotta stay on top of it. You’ve gotta roll with what you have.”

Her quiet time is spent with her three kids, and husband Dan, a novelist. But April continues to write her own story, one that certainly has some drama, but also some very positive outcomes, including patients who return to say ‘thank you’.”

April Largent
April Largent (Source: April Largent)

“They’re really nice when they come back,” Largent says. “They’re not yelling at me, they just want to give me a hug and tell me ‘thank you’, so that makes it all worth it.”

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