January 2, 2017

More than Just Documenting

It had been a slow night in the emergency department, so I was working on my charts and chatting with the physician I was working with. The trauma pager went off, meaning a trauma was en route to the emergency department.

However, this was not a typical trauma as it involved three young children who had been involved in a car accident that was the result of a drunk driver. The charge nurse came over and asked if the physician I was working with would help out in the trauma bay, as they needed extra hands. I picked up my computer so that I could document, but my provider encouraged me to just watch this time.

We entered the trauma bay and it was eerily silent, as it typically is before the ambulances arrive. Everyone is standing at the ready, in anticipation of what is about to unfold. Soon, the ambulances begin to arrive and each child is being evaluated by a different team of medical professionals. The youngest of the three children, a small boy who couldn’t have been over the age of two, just kept screaming. He was scared and felt alone, as his parents were not there with him. He was in stable condition, so I asked the provider if I could talk to the boy. She agreed so I sat down next to him and started telling him a story. I asked if he liked animals, and he nodded. I sat there for probably 15 minutes and told him all about any animals I could think of. He calmed down and I felt like I had really made a small difference in this child’s experience in an unfamiliar and scary place. This is something that I was not expecting to do as a scribe, but I gained so much experience from this one small moment that I will carry with me into future situations.