‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (in Radiology)

Vol. 17 •Issue 25 • Page 98
Closing Thoughts

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (in Radiology)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and I was on call;

The part of my job that I don’t like at all.

I had just finished my eight-hour shift;
A few hours’ sleep would sure give me a lift.

I laid out my clothes, then crawled into bed;
While visions of stiff backboards danced in my head.

I lay there in bed to await the phone’s ring;
And wonder what my nighttime would bring.

When in the cold silence I heard the phone clatter;
I shot from my bed to see what’s the matter.

“This is the hospital; we need you in ER,”
So I threw on my clothes and jumped in my car.

Away to the hospital, I flew like a flash;
Asking myself, “Is this really worth the overtime cash?”

The moon on the breast of all the piles of snow;
Gave a luster of mid-day to the ambulance below.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear?
New patients on backboards; by far my worst fear!

The ER staff says, “We need X-rays real quick;
I knew in a moment I was going to be sick.

More rapid than eagles, the orders they came;
They whistled and shouted and called them by name.

We need X-rays and MRs and ultrafast CTs
We need shots of hips, and chests and bilateral knees.

As I dashed through the door and down through the hall;
I heard a voice cry, “Just X-ray, X-ray, X-ray them all.”

So grabbing the portable the courses I flew;
With cassettes and grids and lead aprons, too.

As I drew in my head and was turning around;
To the emergency room, I came with a bound.
The patients were lined up in long endless rows;
I X-rayed each one from his head to his toes.

I stacked up the films, there must have been a hundred or more;
I yelled, “I’ll be back!” and slammed shut the door.

I developed my films for the ER physician;
So he could determine each patient’s condition.

And just when I thought my work was complete;
I heard the doc say, “More on the way, so just have a seat.”

I worked through the night, trying to keep pace;
It’s now 4 a.m., near the end of this race.

I’m almost at home, my house is in sight;
My pager goes off, this just ain’t my night!

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