Chapter 3: Organized Chaos
Today was the first day of my new job. I put on my new black scrubs and my pink sneakers, tied my chocolate brown hair into a high pony tail, and attached my badge to my scrub top.
I’ve been preparing so hard for this. I completed all of the online and in person trainings in just one week since getting hired. Today, a huge door was going to open for me into the world of medicine.
I arrived to the hospital with 20 minutes before my shift started. Walking in through the huge glass sliding doors, I saw lots of people sitting in the waiting room; their ages ranging from 9 months to 90 years old.
Hopefully I was going to see some interesting stuff today. I rushed into the emergency department, avoiding any eye contact with the people in the waiting room.
Once I got my laptop, I sat down at the physician’s desk. While I was pulling up my documents for the day, I heard somebody yelling at the other end of the hall. My head shot up in the direction of the yelling but I seemed to be the only one. Everybody else was unphased by it.
The only other reaction I saw was the doctor next to me grumbling some incoherent words, not even taking his eyes off of the computer screen in front of him. A few seconds later an older woman, likely a nurse, approached the doctor. Confidence beaming from her eyes but I could tell that she was in desperate need of some sleep.
“Doc can we get some meds for the patient in 43? He’s getting real agitated right now.”
“Yeah no kidding, sounds like a bunch of fun over there. Already ordered.” He chuckled.
“Great thanks” She couldn’t even complete her sentence before she turned on her heel and marched back to the direction of the yelling.
Maybe this is a normal occurrence here? Nobody else seemed to care about the guy yelling across the way.
“You guys are gonna have a fun time with that one” I heard the doctor say.
After a few seconds of silence I looked up and he was staring right at me.
“I- I’m sorry I didn’t realize you were talking to me! Is that normal here?” My eyes were wide open. My palms were sweaty. I was a nervous wreck.
The doctor was an older man; his hair was grey and you could see the wrinkles on his face from the stress. His eyes were a deep blue filled with kindness, dark circles underneath them. He too was in desperate need of some sleep. He looked stoic and prideful, as if you could throw anything his way and he wouldn’t even blink an eye. Like he has already seen the worst of the world. He seemed amused with my question, was that a stupid thing to ask?
“Yep, welcome to the world of emergency medicine! You’ll see a whole lot here. It’s an organized chaos in here. Some people hate it, but me? I love it. It’s something that grows on you. You never know what you’ll get when you walk through those doors”.
“Kind of like that quote from Forrest Gump about the box of chocolates!” I giggled.
“Yes!! Exactly!” He let out a deep laugh and grinned.
The old man went back to focusing on his computer, putting in orders for his patients and I continued to watch everybody work. Those meds for the man in room 43 seemed to work, I couldn’t hear him yelling anymore. The older nurse from earlier was sitting at a computer now joking with another younger nurse.
I heard some rustling next to me pulling me from my thoughts. I turned my head to see that the doctor I was assigned to had just arrived. She was out of breath as she took off her coat and her hair was a mess, she must’ve been in a rush to get here. I looked at the clock and didn’t even realize that 20 minutes had passed and it was already 1:10.
“Hi Dr. Williams, i’m so sorry i’m late, traffic was horrible.” She looked over at me and must have realized that I was her scribe because her face instantly lit up like a child on Christmas morning.
“Are you with me today??” her mouth formed into a grin.
“Yes!” I giggled, “I’m Loren, it’s nice to meet you!“.
Today was going to be fun, I just knew it. I smiled to myself and pumped myself up for this shift.
We walked out of our last patients room and sat back down at the desk. It felt like my legs were going to give out.
Dr. Robins let out a small sigh, I could tell she was tired too. She rubbed her temples for a few seconds with her eyes closed and then picked up her phone.
“Hi this is Robins, can you page Cardiology for me?... Room 12... Alright thanks.” She spoke into the phone and then got up to speak to one of the nurses.
I felt bad for Dr. Robins. She was so happy and joyful when she came in but now she looked so tired and defeated. Actually, everybody here looked like that. Everybody looked sleep deprived, stressed, and hungry. However they were all still able to crack jokes with each other despite them being mainly insults.
I guess thats just how they get through the day. I smiled at the thought of them as a large family, all working together for the same end goal; to save lives.
“Loren if you are done with everything you can go ahead and go home. I really, really, really appreciate you being here today. I know it doesn’t seem like it but you made my life 100 times easier today and I can’t thank you enough”. She spoke pulling me away from my thoughts. I didn’t even realize she was sitting at her computer again. T
he tiredness in her voice was still there but she didn’t seem so stressed. I could tell that she was being genuine with her statement, giving me a sense of warmth inside.
“Are you sure? I can stick around if you wa-”
“Shush and go while you can! One thing that you will learn in the field of medicine is that if somebody offers for you to go home, you fucking take it and run all the way there!” she laughed and pointed at the door.
“Okay, okay. Thank you for a fun day Dr. Robins, I’m glad I could help.” I spoke while packing up my things.
“No, thank you. Drive safe okay?” She waved as I walked out of the department, or as Dr. Williams called it; the organized chaos.