A place like the trauma unit at a busy trauma center?
For one, it is a very spiritual and healing ministry.
For another -- it is about life.
So even though I am spending hours each week, stalking the halls of a hospital and trauma center, breathing hospital air, rather than hiking and kayaking in nature -- this journey is all about life.
I work with heroes.
I am truly in awe of their training, skill, dedication, energy, and zest for living and life. They are an inspiring team of people.
My heroes are the trauma team at Bayfront and I am their chaplain and part of this team.
My heroes range from the trauma docs, nurses and medics, respiratory, x-ray, to the housekeepers who come in to clean up the mess of the drama of trauma.
I watch with respect as this team comes together awaiting the patient -- posed and primed, each in their own place, each with their own role, ready to jump into whatever demands are placed upon them by the injuries to the patient about to be wheeled through the door.
The choreography is amazingly beautiful - rarely missing a beat. Sorting through dirty, blood stained clothes, torn tissue and exposed body parts -- looking for life and doing their utmost to sustain it. Vomit, urine, blood -- they are exposed to it all and it is all a part of the human dance for life that they sustain and support each day they come to work.
I have watched this dedicated team of individuals - from tattooed body piercers to graying grandparents - come together and fight for life, giving high-fives when they bring a person back from a Code, and sagging in defeat when they lose one.
And yet, even in defeat, if another patient rolls through the door, each member of this troupe pulls energy and courage and fight from deep within themselves and steps into place to save another life.
Every decision, every move they make could make the difference between life and death.
Some days it feels like a MASH unit -- some days it seems like the traumas never stop, they just keep rolling in....and through it all, this dedicated team of trauma workers continues to step up to the challenge, continues to fight for life, continues to use their skill and training, under pressure with constant challenge, and at the end of the day, they go home.
As their chaplain, I am so proud of each of them and honored to have the privilege to support them and be a member of their team.
My prayer is for their healing, and peace, and restful sleep at the end of their shifts.
My prayer is for them to always have that well of courage and energy and patience to draw from.
My prayer is full of gratitude for their work and dedication.
I am proud to work with my team of heroes.
Chaplain and Rabbi Ann White, July 2010