Tag Archives: emergency room

Hidden Heroes

Candace Thomas Salt Lake City, Utah, United States   Designed by ArthurHidden / Freepik Being a blood banker is an interesting job and one not many understand. “So you draw people’s blood?” No, that’s a phlebotomist. “Oh, but you work in a hospital. Are you a nurse?” No. “If I donate blood, can I request […]

Sanderson’s Thumb and the end of an eponymous era?

Kit Green Sanderson Canada   A thumb exhibiting a positive “Sanderson’s Thumb” sign. Photo by the author. If you are in the medical profession, you have likely heard of the Babinski reflex or McBurney’s point, but have you ever heard of Sanderson’s thumb? No? Let me explain . . . Sleep deprived, overworked, and two […]

Becoming a doctor in Chicago (c.1954)—Clerkships at Michael Reese Hospital

Peter H. Berczeller Edited by Paul Berczeller An excerpt from Dr. Peter Berczeller’s memoir, The Little White Coat.   Michael Reese Hospital. Postcard by Curt Teich. 1950. No known copyright for Curt Teich postcards printed before 1964. After Cook County, my group and I moved over to Michael Reese Hospital—a pile of old buildings on the […]

The names of things

Joseph Hodapp Cupertino, California, USA   The author’s grandparents. Photo by Laura Hodapp. It’s a gray-sky, late-October afternoon. I just got home from work when I feel my phone buzz in my pocket. The caller ID provides a brief preface: Mom. “Hey Mom, what’s up?” “Hey Hun, I wanted to call you right away… my […]

A quiet night

Henry Bair Palo Alto, CA   University College Hospital, London: the outpatients’ waiting room and dispensary. Wood engraving, 1872. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY It was the end of the week, the middle of the night, and the beginning of my ER shift. All was quiet, and I was studying at the nurses’ station, still […]

Prayer for my Village – When a Friend Asks Me What It’s Like to See Someone Die

Jeanne Bryner Warren, Ohio, USA   Poet’s statement: Both of these poems were written while I was at Vermont Studio Center on an international fellowship. Artists from all disciplines, states, and nations ate together, worked in their studios, presented slides, and gave readings of works-in-progress. It was precious. And I thought, why must we have […]

I don’t know how it happened

Rae Brown Lexington, Kentucky, USA   There are angels in every emergency room. They sit above the fray and listen and learn. They hear the laments of the doctors and nurses as they try to save a child. They hear the sometimes incredulous comments of those who may be responsible, in some way, for what […]

The middle finger: identity crisis in the emergency room

Lara Bazelon San Francisco, California, USA   I am a lawyer who writes. I write about the criminal justice system, single parenting, divorce, and I am also an aspiring novelist. I had always written, scribbling in diaries as a little kid, writing early in the morning before I went to work or on the weekends, […]