“I had a feeling it was going to be a special day when I woke up,” Dr. Craig Johnson recalls. ‘I arrived to work early that day around 10 and upon logging in to our electronic medical records I could hardly believe my eyes. It was a consult from the ICU.’ The consult read ‘traumatic brain injury eval and treat.’
Per reports from other staff, Dr. Johnson swooped into action activating the emergency interdisciplinary meeting system and immediately overhead paged his attending, program director, program coordinator, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and recreational therapist. ‘I even called my mom’ recalls Dr. Johnson. Several vigorous and thorough rounds of chart review and discussion were had over the next hour. ‘It’s important in stressful situations such as these to remain calm and always remember your ABC’s. Ambulatory status, last Bowel movement, and of course Continuity of care.’
The moment had arrived for Dr. Johnson to see his consult, he recalled the ICU as ‘loud’ and ‘busy’. However, due to the patient sleeping physical exam was deferred and there was no family present for prognosis discussion so he simply stared at the monitor for a few minutes appearing to be deep in thought and then left.
After a long lunch to help decompress Dr. Johnson wrote his consult note with the following recommendations “Could try melatonin at night, will follow along.”
“My attending was so impressed with my work he sent me home around 3pm, a whole hour early.”
When asked how he managed to stay calm under such a stressful situation he left us with the following thoughts. ‘No hero’s today, just a great team coming together for patient care.’ With a twinkle in his eye as he walked towards his car he said, ‘This is what we train for.’
Addendum: At the time of publishing repeated pages to neurosurgery for a statement regarding the consult went unanswered. We eventually received a text page several days later reading ‘Thought this was physical therapy, consult entered in error.’