Dear person I care about who is going into the weekend (even if we have never met)-

I sometimes tell people what to do or not do. That usually doesn’t work. Because no mom likes to meet a chaplain in the waiting room, or get a call from a chaplain, I sometimes turn my badge around until we can talk for a minute.

That’s my part.

But I’d like to ask a favor before you do risky things that might end with a traumatic trip to the Emergency Room.

  1. Know what kind of scars or other identifying marks your loved ones might have. Including eye color.
  2. Carry ID for yourself and your kids.
  3. Wear seatbelts.
  4. Be careful.
  5. Keep a list of allergies and medications.
  6. Let someone know where you are going.
  7. Assume that there is a one in a million chance that it might be you, and that sometimes that one time comes.
  8. Don’t worry about always wearing clean underwear (It may not stay that way).
  9. If your blood alcohol level is .28, don’t drive in a way that you end up in the ER saying foolish things.
  10. Know that your phone may not come with you. Or your purse.
  11. A leather jacket and a helmet can allow me to talk to you afterward.
  12. Remember that these days, only one person can come in, so decide ahead of time who that person is so we don’t have to watch fights between various family members. Or “family members”.
  13. If you don’t want people related to you making health care decisions for you, make sure you appoint a health care representative. In writing, While alert and oriented.

Stay out of the ER. That’s what you can focus on to help your mom (or loved one (but especially moms)).

The nurses and the techs and environmental services team and the respiratory therapists and the registration team and the phlebotomists and the child life specialists and the EMS teams and the CT team and the docs of all sorts and the security team and the rest of us are all cheering for you.

I know that because of my conversations with people from every one of those teams when someone you love doesn’t make it. So if you can help us, we can help you better.

Thanks on behalf of the people who might be visiting with you or your loved one in the Emergency Department.


Chaplain Jon.


Before You Walk In Copyright © 2021 by Jon Charles Swanson. All Rights Reserved.

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