No Miracle Tonight

It was both an honor and privilege to train at Charity Hospital School of Nursing and work at Big Charity both as a student and as a Registered Nurse after graduation during the years 1972-1976. Big Charity epitomized the team concept as student nurses, med students, staff nurses, interns, residents, and staff physicians combined efforts to care for the sickest of the sick. The patients I cared for on Tulane male medicine were the most challenging yet most memorable of my career. Remembering the quote “where the unusual occurred and miracles happened”, I think  of a story I have told many times since I left there. I was working a 3-11 shift as an RN after graduation on the Tulane medicine wards. E505, 507, 509, 511. Remember that Tulane cared for patients on the east side of the hospital and LSU the west and the two did not often mix. Anyway, I was in one of the back wards when a patient came running to get me saying he had just seen 2 people go by the window. Remember I am on the 5th floor. Now this particular gentleman was admitted with alcoholic cirrhosis so my first thought was that someone had brought him a treat that night. But I went with him anyway and lo and behold on the front lawn was a body. And on the ledge which protruded from 3rd floor was another. As I watched from above, the staff from the accident room (this is what the trauma ER was called back then to differentiate from West Admit which was for medical emergencies) came rushing through the front entrance to the hospital with a stretcher, lifted the lifeless body onto the stretcher and went back through the front door headed to the accident room. Another group did the same for the body on the 3rd floor ledge. There was no fanfare, no crowd gathered, no news cameras. The staff simply took it in stride and did what they did each and every day and dare I say did it better than anyone.  I later found out that this was a young couple who were protesting something, making their way to the top floor of the hospital and jumped as part of the protest. Needless to say they did not survive. A very unusual event indeed but there was to be no miracle that night.

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