The quickest responders are the ones who count. That’s what I usually say to myself.

Those are the medical personnel. Together, the team is between 15-20 people: physicians and nurses and respiratory techs. Security and a chaplain and a hospital administrator. We rush within minutes from all quarters in the hospital.

The medical folks address the medical crisis. They attempt to stabilize the patient all while deciding if and where the patient will be moved to a different unit in the hospital.

That could mean transporting someone from the lobby to the Emergency Department. It could mean a patient, once stabilized, is taken from a medical floor to one of the intensive care units. In most cases, movement for the patient is presumed. Even if it takes time to accomplish.

Chaplains come with the primary focus on the family in order to support anyone present who may be with the patient and with a secondary concern for our care providers. Watching trauma unfold is its own participation in trauma.

Participating in trauma does things to people. It anchors you and disrupts you. Both happen. In a trauma, someone else’s and your own, the world that you knew flips.

Time changes. People move quickly and they don’t move quickly enough. The room is noisy and the floor cluttered with needle caps and clothes and ripped packages that once held tubes and lines and other medical implements.

It is an essentially upsetting, unsettling, and uprooting experience. Have you experienced something like this? Perhaps not a medical crisis but another version of trauma? What’s helped?

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