Friday, June 01, 2012

What I've learned in my first week of CPE

In no particular order.  Of course this is not an exhaustive list.

1. Flight for Life pilots wear night vision goggles.  Awesome.

2. Everyone who goes into the ER has to go through a metal detector and have their belongings searched. Like the airport.

3. Watching Flight for Life helicopters land on the helipad and offloading patients is one of the most intense adrenaline fueled experiences you can experience.

4. Observing life or death procedures in the T-10 room, and the number of people who work in perfectly orchestrated harmony to save a life, leaves no doubt in my mind that God is involved intimately with emergency medicine.

5. There does not appear to be a climate nor a time zone in the hospital.  And apparently the gas fireplaces in the lobby burn all year. Random.

6. Trauma rooms are nothing like what Grey's Anatomy would have you believe.  I was shocked at how quiet serious trauma situations actually are.

7. There is no upper age limit for donating tissues to Colorado Donor Alliance.  I am now a certified Designated Requestor and this will become an important part of my job.

8. The biggest thing that I can offer to patients and their family in crisis is myself.

9. Comfortable shoes can make or break an entire day.

10. Seeing death from this side of things (instead of from the side of the grieving family) is really fascinating.  In an instant, a family's entire world is changed and gone.  A person is lost, along with an entire lifetime of experience.  Meanwhile, we sometimes see 4 or 5 deaths in a day. It is not that death is treated in a cavalier way, but that it is merely a part of life.  A chaplain "attends" a death, does the paperwork, and then proceeds to go to lunch or get a latte.

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