He was an ornery kind of fellow, evident by his scowl and beady, glaring eyes that greeted me upon my entrance into his room. The nurse, thankfully, had given me a heads-up on this eighty-five year-old gentleman's demeanor. With her kind warning, I felt prepared to be tested by this patient's demanding and abrupt nature. What I wasn't ready for, though, was this man's physical appearance. He was extremely small in ...

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I smelled the patient, unfortunately, even before walking into his room to introduce myself. From the hallway, his odor of lingering stale smoke flared my nostrils, instigating childhood recollections of the wood-burning furnace at my grandmother's home. From a distance, the scent of smoke was just that -- charred-burnt air, its weight clinging to my nostrils. As I approached the patient, however, the scent of smoke smoldered my wishful memories ...

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Although I rarely get sick with the numerous strains of “bugs” that seem to go around our community this time of year, the week prior to my return to work for my next scheduled string of four shifts was spent mainly in bed, coughing and aching and whining about how miserable I felt. Fully recovered, though, I was excited to return to the emergency department to do my fair share ...

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Sometimes as human beings, despite all the layers we consciously build upon the shell of our souls to shelter us, define us, and project an image to others of what we hope we are, our basic inherent quality of goodness emerges on its own free will. A kind word, a gentle touch, a hint of a smile, an understanding patience--these are all things that escape uncontrollably in moments where our ...

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Faith.  A simple word with complicated meaning.  It is a seed buried deep within our spiritual cores, ready to be nourished and blossom with the sprinklings of tragedy.  It is a belief that things will work out, despite our lack of vision for fate's secretive reasons of the bumpy journey we must endure.  It is an inherent hope that has either sustained us or has failed us miserably.  Yes, to ...

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Emergency, as per the all-knowing Webster, is defined as an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action. Furthermore, an emergency is also defined as an urgent need for assistance or relief. These definitions sound pretty spot-on, right? When thinking about emergency room settings, even, one can easily correlate the words of Webster to what one would necessitate to be a situation requiring emergency medical treatment. ...

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I walked up to the closed door and paused , exhaling a deep breath weighted with disappointment, trying to clear my thoughts for the conversation about to come. My clenched fist was briefly suspended, mid-air, ready to knock. Beyond the door, I could hear muffled conversation and movement. A calm, pretty woman stood beside me. An emergency department case manager. She held a notebook and pen, ready to jot down any ...

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I imagine the world as a vast, boundless frontier weathered by our swirling human emotions and complicated energies--hurricanes of intense heartbreak and tornadoes of joyous, unbridled celebrations, with every weather pattern in between. Sunshine and rain included. If I could gather this world, foolishly believing that I could sweep my arms and hands through the unsuspecting air to collect a smaller, more-contained version of reality, I know with absolute sureness that ...

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I imagine the world as a vast, boundless frontier weathered by our swirling human emotions and complicated energies -- hurricanes of intense heartbreak and tornadoes of joyous, unbridled celebrations, with every weather pattern in between. Sunshine and rain included. If I could gather this world, foolishly believing that I could sweep my arms and hands through the unsuspecting air to collect a smaller, more-contained version of reality, I know with absolute ...

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I usually work two or three shifts a month at a small, rural hospital about two hours from where I live. Why? Mainly, the small hospital is less than ten miles from my childhood home, where my widowed father still resides, and thus provides me an opportunity to catch up with Dad as well as four of my siblings and their families, all who live within five miles of Dad. I ...

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