October 26, 2017

What If I Killed Someone?

Despite the 10 hours of tattoo work that he flaunts from between the buttons of his hospital gown, a lab draw is still more terrifying than a policeman's taser. I donate blood every year, and that 16 gauge straight needle stays in the whole time. I don't need a tattoo to prove I'm tough. My service to my community is twice as scary as taking a bullet, and blame, for a friend trying to steal a car. At least, that's what my patient thinks. But every once in a while, a patient tells you something that makes you think.
May 31, 2017

Different Teams On The Same Side

I observed how in the busiest of times when an ER nurse was trying to move patients “upstairs” (MedSurg or ICU), they would often feel a palpable amount of cultural tension. Not only did other departments appear to work at different speeds, but had very different goals and ways of doing things.
May 4, 2017

My First Loss

I went to an EMT class over the summer between my first and second year. It was a great program, taught by a crusty old Paramedic with more horror stories than I had ever imagined. One day in particular I remember best. He came to the front of the class and showed us accidents that he had seen. Cars and bodies mangled and disfigured in ways I could never have imagined possible. Watching us cringe, he put down the remote to the slide show.
April 17, 2017

That Dreaded Question

Office jobs don’t get the “oo” and “ah” response that EMTs, medics, flight medics, flight nurses, and SWAT medics, etc., receive. It makes people think, and people have questions. They want to know about the horrible things, but not about the normal things. Have you ever noticed how sharing people are with terrible things?
April 14, 2017

Love In The Emergency Department

My favorite ER love story starts in triage. A long line of people waiting to be seen. Enter two middle-aged folks. Obviously homeless. Wearing clothes too large for them. And their skin is covered in pink and purple.
April 5, 2017

Modesty, Privacy, Dignity

If the person at the time of disrobing has all their facilities, then the hospital gown may seem better suited for a fraternity initiation stunt then the first step into the most advanced medical care in the world. For most patients, conscious or otherwise, the hospital gown is rarely a confidence booster.
April 3, 2017

A Letter To Those Grieving. Step 1: Push In

I want to give you a roadmap for what you are about to experience, to offer you hope and encouragement that this terrible thing does not have to be the thing that destroys you.
March 31, 2017

The Leap

Do you get really frustrated at a coworker who should be way ahead in their career but struggle with the simplest of things? Is there someone you looked up to, but soon discovered that despite their years of experience just aren’t the kind of person you aspire to be? What you are experiencing is what I call “the Gap”, and what you need, is to Leap.
March 27, 2017

Running A Little Late

Then the pager goes off. Highland. OR 6. I kegel, pound the rest of the latte, and start the car. OR 6 is where the big stuff happens – the stuff you see on the news. Many very bad traumas go in and few come out.
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