Emergency Room Night Shift Gothic

Gothic of the Medical Student

  • You enter through the front as per usual. 20 pairs of eyes in the waiting room see into your soul. They demand retribution. There is nowhere to run.
  • The ER doc tells you to see the patient in room 4. There is no room 4. There has never been a room 4.
  • There is one patient here who has been here for 16 hours. They have not left their room once. They have many secrets.
  • The ER doc is telling you about the political climate of the 1980s. You’re not sure if you need to study this later.
  • You hear someone call your name from the nurse’s station. When you ask they respond that they do not know your name.
  • “I come here once a week. They always send me home.” Says the frequent flier. You don’t know how to respond.
  • There is one nurse who has been on during every one of your shifts. When you mention this, they say they haven’t been in for a week.
  • You don’t know where your preceptor went. The nurses watch but do not approach. You are lost and alone.
  • There is another student in the ED. They only stare as you pass, eyes empty. The depth of your mutual understanding goes beyond words.
  • You cannot remember what happened between 2 AM and 5 AM. No one does. It is lost to universe.
  • A patient refuses to leave until she’s admitted. She says its not rocket science. You wonder if you should tell her a rocket scientist still can’t admit her.
  • You go in to help with a procedure. It is already complete. No one know when it happened.
  • Someone asks you what medication a patient needs. You can’t remember any medications. You don’t know who you are anymore.
  • The nocturnist asks you about the political climate of the 1980s. You have answers.
  • You are sent into remove a foreign body from an orifice. There is no foreign body. There is only fear.
  • You hear a scream in the distance. It’s too far away to be in the ER. You are told to check it out anyways.
  • There is blood on the floor. There are no external injuries or trauma patients. There is no trail.
  • “An MI.” You say. The ER doc accepts this answer. It never mattered what the question was.
  • You see a provider with brightly colored hair. You do not know what they do. You never see them again.
  • There is a smell that starts to waft around 1 AM. You ask the charge nurse about it. They say it will pass and nothing more.
  • There is no one in the doctor’s lounge. The coffee machine turns itself on. It knows.
  • During hand off, the new ED doc mentions the political climate of the 1980s. You don’t know what year it is anymore

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