A sense of sadness and doom struck me as I entered the room. 78-year-old female, chief complaint: sent in by home health nurse. “One of those,” I thought. Alone, elderly, contractures of both left extremities, vitals normal, no dyspnea, well dressed and groomed. No suitcase sign. Awake and in no distress, but hasn’t made eye contact yet.
“Isn’t it about time you started back to work in the ER?” my wife asked as she walked by my desk. I was working quietly on the computer. Well, OK. I was just fiddling around on Facebook. But I wasn’t bothering her, was I?
I have a confession to make. I love my job. I’m often afraid to admit this out loud. I look forward to going to work in the ER and miss it when I’m away... 
I want my time here to mean something. But it seems like I spend a lot of time in the ‘horizontal time accelerator’, my bed. The truth is I do a lot of nothing. I just end up killing time.
“When are these kids ever gonna wise up?” asked Ellen, the older charge nurse, as she shook her head in frustration. “This is the third young single girl tonight that I’ve treated that is pregnant..."   
Enjoy this Night Shift from the EPM archives 
When you are a long way from home, there is nothing that cheers you up like getting a package. 
CDR Mark Plaster, MC, USNR writes from Iraq

“Sir, there was a little situation last night that you might want to be aware of.”
As the final days of residency passed by, there were many things I looked forward to after graduation, but I never fully imagined what the real world would bring. Here’s what my first year as an emergency physician taught me...

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