An Emergency Department Is The Critically Injured Patient

889 Words4 Pages
The first image that comes to mind when most people think of an emergency department is the critically injured patient, as has been immortalized by television and Hollywood, wheeled in with an entire army of nurses and doctors in tow. To be honest, this is what I, too, expected - and yet my first memory of working in an emergency department was not of a particularly sick patient or observing an interesting procedure, but the realization that many of the patients were suffering from complications of completely preventable conditions. Patients with uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes were being started on dialysis or sent to the operating room for amputation, a scene I saw far more often than the car crash and gunshot victims I expected to swarm the floor. The dissonance was striking, to say the least. Throughout my childhood, my parents always stressed the importance of healthy eating and daily exercise. My grandparents were a living testament to their message: they were in their 80s, full of life and still traveling the world. I always tried to make a conscious effort to eat well, but I noticed early on that many of my classmates did not do the same; they would eat chips with soda for lunch, while I ate the bagged lunch my mother prepared for me. Eating prosciutto sandwiches with a piece of Pecorino cheese and fresh figs was a privilege I very foolishly took for granted. Growing up in an Italian household meant that food was the focal point of every family
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