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Out to Change the World (excerpt, part 1)

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Please let me know if it's any good and what improvements I can make.
Ring, ring. The phone loudly interrupted the peaceful silence of the night. Jessica groaned, pushed back the covers and reached for the phone.
“Hello?”
“This is Seattle Memorial Hospital, we need you on duty at the emergency room as soon as possible.”
“But I haven’t begun working at the clinic yet?”
“That’s alright, please come anyway. We need whatever help we can get.”
Jessica Johnson was a recent graduate of Harvard University, with a degree in psychology. A clinical physcologist new to the field, this would be her first emergency case, and her first ever chance to practice her profession.
“We have a patient who is showing some symptoms of possible physciatric diagnosis,” a nurse told her when she arrived,” Currently they are undiagnosed. We called in the hopes that you could be of some help.”
“Who is the patient? What are the symptoms? She asked, concerned.
“Patient is a 13 year old female by the name of Morgan Liawk, with symptoms of severe chest pain and hyperventaliation. Procedures were done to rule out cardiac problems, but she is still in significant distress to the point where we are unable to send her home.” The nurse informed her as they walked quickly towards the patient’s room.
A frail, skinny girl lay in the hospital bed, surrounded by several frightened adults. “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” she panicked, sobbing. “I’m going to die,” “Help me, someone help me!” Tears streamed down her face. Jessica stepped towards the bed and put a gentle hand on the girl’s shoulder.
“Morgan, I’m Jessica. I work with the staff here at the hospital. I’m going to try and help.”
Suddenly, the girl stared far off into space. Then she screamed. “No! Please! Don’t hit us!” Her face showed horror.
“Morgan, honey, can you tell me what’s going on?” The young phsycologist asked, trying to remain calm.
“It’s going to hit me! Stop the car! Hurry!”
Jessica rubbed the girl’s back. “Morgan, can you hear me? You’re here. You’re safe. You’re in the hospital. Nothing can hurt you.”
“You don’t understand. It’s happening again!” The girl protested frantically.” “Help me I’m going crazy”
“Dr. Johnson, may we speak with you a minute?” a nurse interjected, a tone of impatience in her voice.
Jessica stepped outside the room with the nurse. “I think we should put her in a padded room. There’s something seriously wrong with that girl.”
“A padded room?” Jessica reacted, disgusted. “Listen, Morgan does not need to be put in a padded room. Based on her symptoms I think she may have post traumatic stress disorder, and is experiencing a series of flashbacks. Locking her in a padded room will only convince her all the more that she is crazy.”
The nurse eyed the physcologist over the top of her glasses. “Since when did you come to know everything Ms.?”
“I don’t know everything,” she replied as patiently as possible. “But I studied post traumatic stress disorder. Anyone can pin-point that these symptoms are all ptsd related.”
The nurse sighed. “Alright, then. Now hustle and get a diagnosis so we can get her out of here and get onto the next patient.”
Jessica ignored the comment and hurried to report to Morgan’s doctor. She found him leaning against a counter, writing down records. “Dr. James, the patient in Room 8C-I believe she is having a panic attack. I tried to calm her down and used all the techniques I could think of, but I’m running out of ideas. May we give her a tranquilizer? I hate to see her in so much hysteria.”
Dr. James eyed her, “Give her a paper back and get her out of here. Probably just another teenage attention-seeker.” “But she has the symptoms of hyperventilation, shortness of breath, as well as what may be flashbacks.”
“No “but’s” Miss, tell her to pull it together.”
“Dr. James, I-“
“Listen, I don’t have time for this. We have real emergencies here. Would you like to continue arguing or keep your job? The choice is yours?” He said, raising his voice slightly.
Jessica sighed and headed back to the room. As she did so, she bumped into a nurse outside the door, “What kind of doctor doesn’t even acknowledge the legit symptoms of a panic attack?” She vented. The nurse shrugged, “Most don’t these days.” She said, not seeming to care about the matter at all.
Jessica, about in tears, took a deep breath and walked back into the room. “I’m sorry, we couldn’t get medicine for her,” she apologized to the family. “I know it’s not much, but here’s a paper bag she can breathe into. Have her take some deep breaths, and I’ll run and get some peppermint tea for her. I’m going to talk to her using some techniques I learned in therapy, and use some imagery, if you’re okay with that.”
The mother breathed a sigh of relief, “I’m okay with it, thank you so much,” she said gratefully.
“No problem,” Jessica answered.
“Has your daughter been through a traumatic event, such as abuse, the sudden death of a loved one, or a car accident?
(read part 2, could not include the whole chapter in one thread)



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Liv.HarrisThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12 at 10:12 am:
This was great! You used increedible imagery, vivid descriptions, and very realistic dialogue. Keep up the great work!
 
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IcithraThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 10 at 5:27 pm:
First of all, I love hospital stories, and your's was as good as anything I've read. Great job, and I can't wait to read the next installation. There was one point, just one line, where it was hard to tell who was speaking, the part "Jessica stepped outside the room with the nurse" makes me think Jessica is speaking. Otherwise, really superbly incredible writing.
 
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