My Night in the ER (Emergency) (Short Story)
Queen's Quarterly 2008, Winter, 115, 4
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It is four o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon, and I have come to the hospital to shadow an ER doctor on his rounds. I have been given a badge, ushered past the security guard, through the double doors and into a large beige room rimmed with curtained beds, and a round nurses' station, parked like a space ship in the centre of it all. The fluorescent lighting makes everyone look ill, patient and doctor alike, and it takes me a few moments to leave the windy, sunny, outside world behind. I am here to write a story about the ER, and because I am a writer, I have already imagined the story before writing it. The imagined story is this one: I divide the night up into hours and report on each one--how many patients are seen, what is wrong with them, how the doctors and nurses do their work.