Sponsoring a Level 1 Trauma center can be a financial drain on a hospital. Feeling the burden of absorbing the extraordinary level of charity care that needs to be provided through their Level 1 trauma center, Vanderbilt decided to have an annual dinner. The dinner had two purposes, to raise money and to raise awareness. A video was to be the centerpiece of the event.
It’s an easy story to tell in one sense – every person involved is a hero – the first responders, EMS, the communications team, flight nurses, pilots, the ED and trauma teams – and especially the patients and families. But getting on a helicopter to go pick up someone who was in the middle of life and suddenly struck by tragedy isn’t easy. First, it’s requires a keen focus on your surroundings and safety. And then there are mental, emotional and physical challenges.
Flight nurses have “safety days” where everyone is required to attend training. I was asked to introduce and show the first video we produced to the nurses at this meeting. I could see and hear the nurses crying during the video and there was complete silence when it was over. I wasn’t sure what to say so I didn’t say anything for a few minutes. Finally one of the nurses said, “Wow, is that what we do?” And I said, “Yes, that’s what you do.”
People who do great things sometimes get so caught up in the task that they forget to recognize their contribution. Videos change that.