“Good morning, Mr. Grayson,” I chimed as I entered the room. Reaching up, I unhooked the empty saline pack only to replace it with a full one. I then detached the I.V line from the old bag, connecting it to the new one. Glancing down at the sleeping elderly man, I whispered, “Don’t tell anyone, but I made sure to warm this one up for you.”
I gave the lukewarm bag a squeeze to get the saline moving before removing my stethoscope from around my neck. Placing the ear-tips in my ears, I gazed up at the heart monitor as I gently pressed the chest piece against Mr. Grayson’s chest.
“Your vitals are looking good.” I announced, removing the ear-tips, and placing the stethoscope in its spot around my neck. “I’m just going to check your incision site then I’ll be on my way.”
Placing my hands at the base of Mr. Grayson’s head, I gently lifted and undid his bandage just enough to see the stitched-up wound. Seeing the soft pink scar at the crown of his head showed no signs of infection, I carefully rewrapped Mr. Grayson’s bandage.
“Everything looks good,” I announce, gently returning his head to his pillows. “I’ll be back check on you a little later, Mr. Grayson.”
I grabbed his chart and the empty saline bag from the foot of his bed on my way out of the room. Sliding the glass door closed behind me, I tossed the saline bag into the trash can beside the Nurse’s Station before taking a seat. I had just grabbed a pen and opened Mr. Grayson’s chart when my best friend, Amara, came bounding up to the desk.
“Guess who’s stopping by the hospital this week?” She questioned, excitement filling her voice. I didn’t bother looking up as I updated Mr. Grayson’s chart.
“Hopefully, nobody,” I muttered. Clicking the pen closed, I tucked it in the breast pocket of my scrub top as I met Amara’s electrified gaze. “We want people checking out the hospital, Amara, not checking in.”
“Damien Foster,” She beamed, ignoring my previous statement completely. Closing Mr. Grayson’s chart, I placed it in its designated slot before grabbing another chart at random.
“Am I supposed to know who that is?” I questioned, skimming through the binder as I stood from my seat.
“Please tell me you’re joking,” Amara stated. I shrugged as she fell into step beside me. “He’s one of the most successful bachelors in Washington, not to mention, his family owns this very hospital.”
“Ah,” I remarked before entering a sleeping patient’s room. I quickly and quietly checked on the morphine drip along with the patient’s vitals. Deeming them safe, I made my way out of the room, closing the sliding glass door behind me.
“Ah? That’s all you have to say?” Amara pressed as I made my way back to the Nurse’s Station. A frown settled on her face as she leaned against the desk. “This could be your chance, Avery. I thought you’d be more excited about it.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be in the E.R today?”
“Stop trying to change the subject,” Amara commands. “You haven’t been on a single date since–“
“Amara, don’t,” I warned. “Is this why you came down here–to chastise my dating habits?”
“No,” Amara answered, no doubt sensing my lack of patience with this conversation. “I thought there’d be more action down here.”
“Well, sorry to disappoint,” I snapped. I returned my gaze to the stack of charts as both of our pagers went off. Snatching the small device from its spot on the waistline of my pants, I glanced at it.
“Five car pile-up, five minutes out.” Amara announced, urgency coating her tone. I was instantly out of my seat–both of us sprinting for the nearest elevator.
We stepped out of the elevator and into madness. Doctors and nurses were bustling around, assessing, and assisting as many people as they possibly could. The injured were being wheeled into the E.R on gurneys, wailing in pain as the paramedics listed conditions.
“Keeler,” called a husky voice dripping with authority. Amara whirled around to see the Chief of General Surgery stalking toward us. “You’re needed at bed four. Conway, are you still covering for Beckett?”
“Yes, sir,” I nodded, earning a groan from the Chief. Our head nurse, Nurse Beckett, is out on maternity leave. Before she left, I told her I’d cover for her until she gets back. Little did I know, due to my decision, there’d be a shortage of doctors.
“Fine,” He grumbled, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Go…talk to the families.”
With a single nod of my head, I turned on my heel and started toward the waiting room. As I passed by the Nurse’s Station, I swiped a tablet–tucking it under my arm.
I made my way through the automatic doors and into the waiting room. I was hardly surprised when I was instantly swarmed by worried family members. They all shouted questions at me–all of them questions I didn’t have answers too.
Standing on a nearby chair, I shouted over the sea of people, “As of right now, there are no updates, but I can assure you, we are doing everything we can for your loved ones! Doctors will be in momentarily with updates as they are available!”
“My son!” A red headed woman begged. She looked to be in her twenties. The woman took hold of my arm, nearly yanking me off the chair and into the crowd. “What about my son? He was carpooling with a friend. He’s only ten.”
I felt a piece of my heart break for the woman. Climbing down from the chair, I answered, “I don’t have any information on your son at the moment, but a doctor will be out momentarily with more information.”
I took a steadying breath as I made my way through the automatic doors once again. Dealing with the parents of the injured or sick is never easy. In fact, it’s arguably the hardest part of the job. Especially since everyone grieves and processes information differently.
I once had to break the news to a husband that his wife had passed away during surgery. After taking a few minutes to process the information, he grew enraged and proceeded to blame me for killing his wife before slamming me against a nearby wall. Of course, security was called, and I ended my shift that night with nasty bruise on my collar bone–which didn’t fade for an entire week.
“Excuse me, nurse?” A smooth tenor voice spoke.
“It’s doctor actually,” I started, turning to face the person. I swallowed hard as I made eye contact with an incredibly handsome caramel skinned man. He was dressed in black slacks and a grey shirt–which fit his torso perfectly. The sleeves of his shirt are neatly folded, stopping just below his elbows. Meeting his gaze, I continued. “If you have a loved one or a friend involved in the pile up, you may wait in the waiting room. Doctors will be out momentarily with more information.”
The corners of the man’s lips tugged upward as he casually stuffed his hands in the pockets of his slacks. “My apologies, Dr…”
I opened my mouth to speak when the chief beat me to it.
“Conway, there you are,” He exclaimed, earning both mine and the man’s attention. He stopped in his tracks when he noticed the man standing in front of me. “Mr. Foster. I was told to expect you tomorrow.”
“I thought I’d stop by today. Unless you’re too busy,” His eyes flickered to me, a smirk playing at his full lips. “I heard there’s a pile-up.”
“We’re never too busy for you,” The chief stammered. “Conway, there’s a head LAC in bed two that needs stitching.”
With a nod of my head, I started toward the E.R.
“Mr. Foster,” I heard the chief say. “If you’d follow me.”
“It was nice to meet you…Dr. Conway,” Mr. Foster smirks before shadowing the chief.