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A Behind the Scenes Look into BMH's Emergency Room

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A Behind the Scenes Look into BMH's Emergency Room

Emergency (noun)

  • A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action

When I walked into the Emergency Room at Blue Mountain Hospital I tried to take in everything around me. The hum of the medication cooler, the beeping of machines, the clacking of a keyboard, the scribble of a pen, the static of the EMS radio, the smells of coffee and cleaning products, the sighs and deep breaths from the nurses, techs, and doctors.

Depending on the day and the time that you walk in, it can seem like a typical Emergency Room where the staff is tending to patients and catching up on paperwork. Or, it can feel like you are walking into a war zone where the ER employees are in the middle of battle. They are shouting directions, making life changing decisions in an instant, and moving at a pace that us normal people cannot comprehend.

The thing is, no one comes to the Emergency Room on their best day. It’s not something that people tend to choose over literally any other way they could spend their time. But, the Emergency Room employees at Blue Mountain Hospital DO choose to be there. They choose everyday to put themselves in a stressful, fast-paced environment so they can help people and save lives. This blog could end there. The fact that these nurses, techs, and doctors choose this career is all you really need to know in order to admire and respect them, but I wanted to know more.

That is why I wanted to get behind the scenes and see what a day in the life of an Emergency Room employee is really like. It was an eye opening experience that I’m excited to share, so that you too can understand how incredible our ER staff is and how they serve this community every day.

As someone who doesn’t come from a medical background, being in the ER and around the staff felt like being dropped in the middle of a foreign country. I didn’t understand the language, lingo, shortcuts, abbreviations, or procedures. There were names of medications, dosage amounts, medical terminology, and diagnoses being spoken so quickly that it was hard to keep up and understand what was going on. It truly made me appreciate the amount of schooling and training these employees do (and continue to do throughout their career) to succeed in this kind of job.

While I was observing the Emergency Room at Blue Mountain Hospital, I got to witness many cases, listen to calls from potential patients, and hear the doctors, nurses, and techs discuss potential treatments. It ranged from a possible ruptured eardrum to an off-road accident to a case that almost ended badly. And, while these cases in themselves were interesting, the most interesting thing was the staff and how they worked.

I asked them what they liked about working in the ER, at BMH, and in a rural hospital setting. Here are some of their responses:

“I like that it’s fast paced. You never know what’s going to come through the doors.”

“It’s really rewarding. You are dealing with people in their most vulnerable state and you try your hardest to have a positive effect on their lives.”

“Working in the ER is great. It requires you to make quick, potentially life saving decisions. But it can be really hard on your head and heavy on your heart.”

“Working in a rural hospital requires you to be a better nurse or tech because you don’t have the resources of a bigger hospital. You have to be cross-trained on everything because you have to be able to do everything and anything when a patient comes to the ER.”

“The ER is based on what you can do right in that exact moment to save or help the patient. You get to make a difference in the moment when it’s most needed.”

“Working in a rural hospital is rewarding because you get to serve an underserved community.”

I also wanted to know what it takes to be an ER employee and not just in the sense of schooling, testing, training, etc. But, personality wise it seems to take a very special person. I only spent a couple of days there and I was already overwhelmed, scared, nervous, and anxious to get back to my desk job where there was very little risk of anyone dying on my watch. When I asked the ER staff, these are the words and phrases they used “careful, cautious, quick in making decisions, hard working, resilient, thick skinned, adrenaline junkie, good team member, detail oriented, and a good and twisted sense of humor.”

I want to talk about that good and twisted sense of humor for a second because I got to experience that while observing BMH’s ER. I had come into the ER right after a serious code. The whole team was letting out a sigh of relief for working together to save the patient. I expected it to be pretty quiet in the ER as they came down from the high of the crisis, but after a few moments of silence someone made a joke about charting and everyone started chuckling. Soon after that, they were chatting, laughing, and (most importantly) smiling. Being able to find humor in this kind of job, the kind of job that takes a huge toll on your mind, body, and soul, is so important. It gets them through the day and increases their teamwork and camaraderie. Throughout the days of observation the staff were constantly swapping stories to keep each other awake, teach each other from experience, and help each other survive the job.

I could probably write another five pages about how incredible, smart, determined, and brave the ER staff at Blue Mountain Hospital truly is, but I have to come to an end at some point. What I truly want you to know is that our staff (they really should just be called superheroes) is top-notch. They are incredibly talented individuals who sacrifice everything they have to care for our patients on their worst days. If you are in an emergency, know that you will be safe and cared for at Blue Mountain Hospital and make sure to say “thank you” to those caring for you.