Full Moon (March 2020, Week 2 Day 1)
The waiting room was as full as she’d dreaded it would be. The full moon, the overnight shift, and her recent string of shitty days pretty much guaranteed her final shift before vacation would be one she’d need to slog through. Tania nodded at the security guard and passed through the heavy double doors without making eye contact with any of the waiting patients having learned that doing so only got their hopes up.
Tania slid into a chair at the central desk and spun around checking all the rooms.
“All full, doc.”
“And waiting for discharge?” Tania banged her credentials into the computer.
“Not even close. I’ll let you get settled but then you’ve got a few doozies waiting for you.”
The nurse walked away, her shoes squeaking with every step, while Tania got her bearings. Not a single patient was waiting for discharge, and several of them would need to be seen by her within the next few minutes. She pinged Dr. Arden to let her know she’d arrived and was ready for report.
“Full moon.” Dr. Arden emerged from behind Curtain three and headed towards Tania. “I’m never ready for the damn full moon even though I track that thing like it is going to tell me my future.”
Tania chuckled and picked up her tablet. “I hear that, Deanne. Each one seems to be worse than the last and I wonder when the top will be hit, when we get to slope down the other side.”
The two women shrugged before Dr. Arden flopped down into the chair next to Tania. Deanne had been in the ER for five years longer than Tania and was a big part of why she had decided to stay on after her residency. They had been trading reports for years and knew how to get through the details efficiently and with the right balance of concrete and intuitive information.
As Deanne wrapped up the long list of patients, she added, “I’ve been slammed and am doing my best to clear these rooms. I won’t leave right away – not until I get you at least a bit of breathing room.”
“Fair. You stick to these,” Tania starred four names on the list, “and I’ll jump in with the rest. You know the waiting room is full, right?”
“Of course it is.” Dr. Arden pulled her hands down her face, making herself look like she’d been trapped in a fun-house mirror. “I honestly don’t know where all these people are kept the rest of the time – our city seems to expand and disgorge all the excess bodies into our ER.”
Tania grabbed her coat and shrugged herself into it before stretching and pocketing her tablet. “Wherever they’ve come from they’re here now.”
“Yes, yes they are. You leave after tonight?”
Tania threw her hands up and looked at the ceiling. “Yes! I head to the airport from here. See you in passing.” She waved at Dr. Arden and headed for her first patient of the evening.