My Lent reflection for today will be a brief one. This is necessary because it concerns my work, and I work in the medical profession. I am on the front lines in the delivery of health care and the privacy rules which surround my line of work are very widespread and very strict. It is, therefore, the better part of valor to write as little about it as possible. Still, I believe that I have just enough room to deliver this reflection without stepping on toes or stepping out of line.
I knew that today would be a challenge before I walked through the door. We have been seeing more patients each day lately than we have seen in quite a while, and I knew that one of our swing shift people was taking the day off. The night shift person had labored mightily to get done what she could but there was still an impressive list of tests to be performed before any of us had picked up a transducer. Because of a happy innovation in our work schedule however we had an extra person working four hours in the morning, which gave me a much needed opportunity to practice on a new machine that we have recently purchased.
By lunchtime however we knew that our collective goose was cooked. The printer sounded like a machine gun, so many were the orders for new tests that came rattling through it. It quickly became obvious that the one swing shift person who would be working this evening was going to be buried with exams needing to be done if I didn’t stay a little bit past my quitting time, and so I opted to do that. Our student stayed and did another test too, and we thereby managed to get done some of the people who had been waiting the longest for their tests to be finished.
Just as I was wrapping up what I thought was my last test I was told that a patient had been sent over to us to get a test, and if he couldn’t get one as an outpatient he was going to have to go through the Emergency Department. Happily I was there for two reasons: First, I saved him from a long slog through the Emergency Department and secondly because he was a young guy and this particular test would have been seriously embarrassing if it would have been done by one of the female techs, and that is all that we usually have at that time of the afternoon.
So the message which came home to me is that when things are hectic and seem to be all on the wrong track, it’s just possible that you are not seeing the whole picture. In my case a long and difficult day made it possible for a young man who is at an age where embarrassment is likely to be most acute to have his test performed under the least uncomfortable conditions that are possible and also saved the time, expense, and perhaps pain from IV sticks or whatever might have happened in the Emergency Department.
So I end my day tired but contented with the way it is wrapping up. My goal now is to cook, eat, clean up, pour a glass of wine and get busy preparing to lead a book study this Monday. I’ll lean on God’s grace to keep me sharp while I do that.