Sunday, December 25, 2005

We have to take you in

On rounds this morning, I witnessed the life of our hospital as always. Nurses attended their patients. Doctors were at the bedside and at the charts. A technologist pushed a bed toward Radiology. The Emergency Department accepted its next patient. A maternity patient went upstairs for evaluation. The laboratory staff was busy testing fluids. In the kitchen, breakfast trays were being prepared for upstairs. Security was on alert.

It is a holiday, and our patients need us.

There is no elective surgery, and all our patients are those who cannot be anywhere else. As a hospital, we care for the acutely ill every day and all night.
There is an often quoted line of poetry by Robert Frost:
Home is where, when you go there,/ They have to take you in.[1]
The line applies to hospitals too – “we have to take you in.” What a responsibility we have, and what a privilege!

[1] “The Death of the Hired Man,” North of Boston, New York: Henry Holt, 1915