Sunday, May 8, 2011


The shift transition at the hospital is affectionately called "report."  That's when the staff (nurse, doctor, chaplain) who was "on" and is leaving makes a "report" to the staff who is beginning their shift.  It is designed to help the person who is beginning the shift and provide continuing care to the patient or family. 

For me, report is the hardest part of the day.  I clock in, say a prayer, open my notebook and fasten my seat belt.

"What's up today?" I ask the now-off-shift chaplain(s).  At 5pm there is usually two or more folks who are giving me "report" and it's a barrage of information: Be aware of this patient who is on "End Of Life" protocol, and you might get a page from this nurse about that patient, and there is this situation in the Emergency Department and the family is in the waiting room... and p.s. here is the pager.  In my experience, the pager beeps right about mid-report.  Last night, I didn't even make it into the office to print out the "requests a Chaplain" report - the pager went off, the reports were made, and I hit the ground running, so to speak. 

I am reminded about other transitions in my life.  Like mounting and dismounting horses - usually the most difficult part of riding.  Like taking off or landing a plane (as I learned in one incomplete attempt to get my pilot's license).  Like doing a Triathlon - it's the transitions where the time is lost or gained between swimming and biking, biking and running - where outfits, gear, route and competitors all change at the same time.

How is Spirit giving report with each of these transitions?  I wonder how hearing God's report from other transitions applies to what I face now? In this next transition - moving to Alexandria, Virginia, to attend a year of seminary, I hope that I get "report." Change job. Change living place.  Change life patterns.  I hope that I can remember how Grace will report to me through it, even while I am anxiously aware that how it will unfold is uncertain.   

How are you experiencing Report in this moment?

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:27-29

1 comment:

  1. Hey V, I actually just had report as I came on for my over night on call, got a barrage of information and went off visiting, ER, ICU, death situation. I totally resonate with your comments. Transitions...whew!

    Just now reading that you're moving to VA. More seminary? Is this a result of the ordination process? Bishop assigned? Is Leah coming? But you can't leav A-vegas! I need to come back to my yaars when I visit from AK!

    If you don't mind, could you send me a life update email or something. Missins you. Yaar N.