Inspiration in a Hospital?

Not everyone that goes into a hospital is in grave danger, of course. Good things happens in hospitals too. Yet that doesn’t mean anyone particularly enjoys being a patient. Or waiting for a patient. Yet I found myself in that situation yesterday for several hours as a family member had an outpatient procedure performed.

Still, since I did have to wait there for a while, I had to point out that hospitals are excellent people-watching places. Always busy, with so many levels of staff for different departments moving in and out all of the time. Plus patients or others like me, waiting for patients. All sorts of potential questions about who every one is, what they are doing next, or what they just finished doing. It gets the writer an actor in me to thinking a bit.

And, as much as we try to avoid thinking dark things about hospitals, it cannot be denied that at times they can be dramatic places, with a sense of urgency to their proceedings. It just so happens that nothing urgent or dramatic occurred in the section i was waiting in yesterday, but somewhere in the building somebody was rushing to do something, no doubt. There is a certain energy in a hospital, even in the waiting areas, as a result of so many human stories and motivations descending into one small space.

I’m not suggesting that a writer go wait in a hospital just to get material. That would be macabre. But if you should find yourself in a hospital under a non-emergency or less than severe circumstance, take some time to think about just how much is going on within the building, and how important each of those things is. Life is preserved and improved there every moment, and you’ll see probably dozens of people going about that very important work every few minutes you’re in a waiting room. Might as well make the most of being there and consider that aspect of the experience, if you have nothing else to do for a few hours.

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