Saturday, September 12, 2015

The call never came

I was at home that morning 14 years ago. 
I watched as the tower burned. 
I watched as the second plane hit.  
I watched as brave fire, police and EMS rushed in to assist. 
I watched and I waited for the call. 

As a trauma nurse in a Connecticut hospital I waited for the call to come in to work. 
In past years I would have rushed in but we had revised our response because of experience built in other disasters. 
Now we were instructed to wait at home, try to rest, and be ready to answer the call when those on duty reached exhaustion and needed relief. 
Rest was impossible. I was glued to the TV. 
I packed a bag with extra clothes and snacks and placed it by the door. 
And I waited for the call. 

My hospital was 115 miles from the city, but we are at Trauma center, and surely with this many injured we would receive some of them.
So I waited for the call. 

In my head I ran through my training. Airway, breathing, circulation, two large bore IVs. 
I felt ready for the technical issues, I hoped I was ready for the emotional. There were children in the building, and mothers and fathers. There were so many brave fire, police and EMS. Emergency nurses feel a kinship to EMS, who rush in when others run away. They see the worst or the worst. You can see it in their eyes when they arrive. Their eyes are saying, "please don't fail with MY patient."  
My thoughts also turned to my fellow nurses, especially the young ones. 

And I waited for the call. 
Surely with this many survivors.  

But the call never came. 

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