Just another 12 hour holiday weekend night shift in the ER. Inner city, City/County Hospital. Level 1 Trauma Center, teaching facility. Literally a stones throw from the Mexican border. But hey, what could go wrong? Trauma codes in all 3 trauma bays need to be expedited because more are on the way. It seems some disagreements are being settled with the good old high velocity hot lead enema tonight. Some people have been waiting in the lobby for almost 24 hours. I know nurses are superior to mere mortals, but is it OK to say I was starting to feel a little bit stressed at this point?
We worked a regular schedule, so each shift was the same staff, and mine were the best. I was doing chest compressions in the Trauma suite when someone decided that tonight we needed to play Tourrette’s Syndrome. All I know is that while doing chest compressions, the youngest nurse with the most angelic face and sweetest disposition moved a stool near me and leaned over to whisper in my ear so that only I could hear. Little Miss Susy Cream cheese unleashed a chain of vulgarities beyond anything I could ever imagine, causing me, I believe, to be temporarily transported to another dimension, and when I returned I was laughing and crying (and doing chest compression) all at the same time, and to this day I believe I was in God’s presence for a few seconds.
All over the unit staff were whispering vulgar, profane, hedonistic, physically impossible things into each others ears causing laughter and tears, and decreasing the slight feeling of tension we were experiencing that terrible night. I lost track of how many celestial discharges we had from the trauma bays that night, but will be forever changed by my other worldly experience.
Contributed by Paul Millard