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Keeping Time

By Jordan Yeager, Chief Scribe, CS-Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, PA


I stand quietly next to the doctor as he analyzes the ambulance’s approach. White and red lights blink as it comes closer and closer to the automatic ED doors. I see the back of the ambulance open and two EMTs assist a stretcher out of the vehicle.

Compressions have been ongoing for about 1 hour. As they pass the first set of doors, I silently prepare myself to follow the doctor into the room.

As the EMT’s break past the last set of automatic doors, the doctor guides them into the room, like a shepherd with his crook I follow shortly thereafter trying to hear the full report. EKG tracings, blood glucose numbers and BPs are shouted out into the air. I carefully try to collect each statement I hear as I construct my story. Visually seeing each word like thought bubbles in the air.

Fixing myself in the room between the US and EKG machine, I lock my computer brake in. I quietly listen as I hear things like sodium bicarbonate, epinephrine and asystole. My heart pounds as they continue to perform life-saving tasks on the patient.

In these moments, I have one thought. I hope they will be okay. Even though a majority of the cases I see, do not have a happy ending, I always think to myself, I hope that they will be okay.

As minutes pass, I continue to chart as they continue to do compressions and check the monitor. With every pump from the staff, I think, Come on, Come back. As minutes continue to pass, I hear “Give another round of Epi”.

My silent prayers swirl around my mind as I type. At the end of one of my thoughts, my mind snaps back to reality as I hear, “time of death, 22:03”.