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Hekilopter! - Nobody wears a white coat any more... — LiveJournal
...a tribute to becoming a doctor.
The familiar noise of a helicopter overhead always stirs the same emotions in me. I stood outside of James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children one day, in the evanescent purple-grey of early dawn (so many stories take place at dawn, O Best Beloved, or in the still of twilight) and I watched the helicopter touch down on the top of the building, and I listened to its rotors beginning to whirl to a stop. I tell you it was at Riley because this is not a story about me. I went in, then, cutting through the building to get to my destination because it was a bitterly cold morning, and I had a long way to go. And along the way, I saw the team of flight medics bring their cart down from the roof, wending through the hallways with a child on a hospital gurney, one medic pushing, one nurse leading, one medic bagging the tiny frame. I was an outsider, then, just another observer, not a participant. I caught a flash of dark hair, pale skin, white sheets, no blood, and they were gone, past me as I flattened myself against the wall of the hallway to let them through.

I remember working the ED at another hospital when the call came in that the helicopter was being diverted to us, that we would be getting a peds trauma via helicopter. That time I heard it land outside, helped direct medics and call out instructions. "They're on the ground, everyone. ETA five minutes."
Same ED, helicopter brought in a man found down. I watched. I talked to the medics. It takes a lot to be a flight medic. It takes a lot to be a doctor.

Every time I hear a helicopter I look for it. Parkview's Samaritan is green and white, covers northern Indiana and bits of Michigan and Ohio. There's one in Fort Wayne and one in Rochester. Level II trauma center. Methodist's Lifeline is navy, covers the rest of Indiana. It comes to Wishard, too. Both Level I. The difference between Level I trauma and Level II trauma is whether people are in-house or just on-call. The sound of chopper blades means only one thing to me - someone is hurt. And when I'm not there on call, part of me is glad and part of me is curious and part of me wishes I were there.

Sometimes, O Best Beloved, I am still a passenger on this great ambulation of skills and talents called Medicine. Sometimes I am just a passer-by. And that, too, is a worthy thing to be.

now feeling:: curious curious

2 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word
fyrfitrmedic From: fyrfitrmedic Date: February 27th, 2004 04:36 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
You may even get to know which bird is arriving by the sound of the rotors, after a while...
From: silmaril Date: February 27th, 2004 07:25 am (UTC) (etched in stone)
Most of the time when I see choppers, they are circling over the Beltway here (to monitor the mess that we call "traffic" on the Beltway, I always assumed) or they are circling over the campus when there's a basketball game or whatever (to monitor the mess that we call "fans", I always assumed.)

Now I'll be looking at them a bit differently, too.

2 whispers echo . o O ( ... ) O o . whisper a word