Medical Emergency 

This week has been a difficult week to blog. An awful mass shooting in the US, a filibuster today in response to that, Trump and Trump and Trump, Brexit, not to mention other tragedies happening around the world. I really do not want to talk about work on the blog and I have nothing to add to the chattering classes on social media – so what is there left to say?

Fiction, or course is the place where writing can go and feel safer but to think of a response and a fictional response every day and to big issues, and to post it would need me to possess almost bot-like qualities. Maybe if I was posting once a week it would be do-able but every day? I am kinda at my wits’ end.

I rarely watch TV these days the rise and rise of reality TV and the insane belief that if you don’t make it a cartoonish freak show ‘nobody’ will get it, is a belief that cripples creativity in Australia (in general – there is some great stuff being done here and there). Having put out my stall against reality TV, I do like a good, old fashioned fly-on-the-wall documentary.

I am particularly attracted to medical documentaries. When I was filling in my forms for Uni, I did actually get get a high enough score to study medicine, but it never occurred to me to do it. I am not sure why. Like many, I am fascinated with the way the human body works, but also with the way we as individuals interact with the machinery of a system like health.

The idea that there is a protocol in treatment is always something of a comfort – but bizarrely, one that tends perhaps not to get discussed with a patient. Doctors arrive and ask questions – but the patients are not necessarily told why.  The doctors that stand out are the ones that can have a geniuse conversation with their patients so it does not come across that they are the people that are asking questions that they already know the answer to – that old lawyers’ trick. Overwhelmingly, though, the impression you get from programs such as 24 Hours in Emergency – the one I was watching yesterday – is a absolute core attitude in non judgement approaches to patient care.

 The patients present, at the A&E – or emergency ward. The history is taken and while the viewer at home might think, ‘silly sod’ the medical team are only interested in providing the best result for each patient at the time. And that is the remarkable thing, because for the staff on the ward, they probably see the same types of cases presenting over and over again, but for each patient, it is the single most terrifying moment in their life and the wonder is firstly the development in medical science, technology and practice that mean most of these patients will leave the ward alive, but also that the wellspring of human compassion never runs dry.


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