“The Dance of Trauma”

Every time a trauma code is called, I anxiously anticipate my cue to begin my actions.

Before the patient’s arrival, the cast of all the medical professionals are blocked in position, preparing to carry out their individual roles.  Then, after the EMS crew wheels the patient into the trauma bay and gives their report, the trauma team is prompted to begin their moves to bring healing support.  Several nurses and physicians of various specialties, situated at various points around the gurney, place the body in different positions in order to perform whatever tasks necessary to respond to the person’s needs.   Hovering near the head of the bed, respiratory therapy spirals around to reach the ventilator as they attend to the intubation needs.  Stationed near the med cart, pharmacy extends their hands with the drugs as needed.  At the bedside table by the entrance, paperwork is laid out where the scribe spots and records countless aspects of the entire patient’s care.  Outside the room, radiology waits in the wing by the portable X-ray, listening for the command to enter.  Also, with gloved hands, social work and I, as the chaplain, situate ourselves to collaborate in assisting with family notification and gathering personal belongings.  Overall, it appears as a choreographed dance; every team member moves according to his or her role, working in unison to provide the best care possible.

Finally, with this “dance,” there is always an audience.  It may be a few or many, depending on the situation.  However, there is always at least One—our Lord, our Master declaring to each team member, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things’” (Matthew 25:21).

Holy God, thank You for the blessings of the skills and wisdom You have given each of us, and may we always use them faithfully as we dance together to serve those in need.  In Your name I pray, Amen.


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