In the ED we are a deep well of patience and under-standing. The grace we extend to those who trans-gress is a gift offered few places outside of church.
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 02 – February 2013
In our specialty, we own the obligation and privilege to meet many challenges. We encounter patients and families at their most trying hour. We please, or at least make a strong effort to please, an endless parade of some of the most cantankerous, recalcitrant, and obstinate humans in these United States.
Last month, I spoke of humility. A fine trait it is; but we find in practice there is a tricky balance between self-confidence and modesty. It takes more than humility, however. There are many other valuable traits and behaviors.
How we wrestle with our daily challenges proclaims, in a loud voice, the kind of people we are. Our demanding workplace provides a magnificent opportunity for us to show what the Bible calls the fruit of our spirit. Similar concepts are found in other religions as well. Our souls, along with all of our mistakes, are on exhibit for many to see when we practice emergency medicine. This is delightful because, when we bear good fruit, tiny miracles happen, and we are filled with joy.
Recently a police officer in New York City, a person who meets tremendous challenges daily, was secretly captured on video providing a homeless man with new socks and boots on a cold day. Although this was intended as a private act, his love, kindness, goodness, and gentleness were displayed on YouTube and national news for all to take as inspiration. His good works will be amplified around the country, and thousands of moments of despair will be transformed into moments of joy and peace.
This past summer, I quietly observed my friend and emergency nurse Mary interact with a drunken and ill-mannered man. He cursed, made unreasonable demands, and threatened to leave. In many places outside of the ED, his actions would have prompted a swift kick out the door or a visit with the police. With a smile on her face, she gently engaged and redirected this lost soul back to his room and tucked him into bed. The man was probably too inebriated to remember, and nobody else was watching this but me. Her virtuous actions, however, did not fly like a dry leaf in the November wind. Her faithfulness, forbearance, gentleness, and self-control brought peace to both her heart and mine.