I type a name into the medical records system. Spinning icons show that the search is in progress. Results... one found. Thank God, I think, it's not a common name. The phone number matches what I scribbled on the pad in front of me. I hit Enter to open that chart.
A dialog pops up: Confidential record. This patient is not in your care area. Click Yes to contact your supervisor for authorization. Click No to cancel access.
Next to the Yes and No buttons there's a third one, much larger, labelled in bright red with bold letters: Break the glass. I click that one.
The chart opens, and a window full of patient information shows up. Along the bottom there's a red banner that says: Emergency Mode. All Access Logged.
I scroll down far enough to find an address. I grab the desk phone and dial a few digits. Somebody picks up on the first ring.
"911 dispatch. What is your emergency?"
"I'm a nurse calling from the ER at St. Lobart's Hospital. I need an urgent wellness check for a suicidal person at home."
"What is your name and callback number?"
I give those.
"Where is the person located?"
I give the address. I hear the sounds of rapid typing.
"Do you have their phone number?"
I give it.
"Do you know the name of the person?"
I give the name too.
"What can you tell me about the situation?"
"She called the ER just now and said she is having suicidal impulses. She said she is sitting in her kitchen, holding a gun, and resisting the urge to shoot herself. She won't leave the house alone because she's afraid she will run into traffic. She won't put the gun down." Keyboard sounds continue at the other end of the phone. "I asked her to call 911, but she refused. She knows the ambulance will take her to the closest hospital, but she doesn't like that one."
"And she gave you her contact information?"
"No, she only told me her name. I found a current address in her medical record. The number on caller ID matches the one in her chart."
"What time was the call?"
I check my watch against the scribbled notes. "Six minutes ago."
"What else do you know about the situation?"
"Nothing else. She hung up on me."
"And you said this person is armed?"
"Yes. She said she is holding a loaded gun."
Type-type-type. Tap. "Thank you. We'll have police there in a few minutes. If she calls back, keep her on the phone, and have someone call us on another line."
"Are you sending paramedics too?"
"Yes. The police will go in first, to make sure the area is safe."
I take a deep breath. "I understand. Thank you."
"Good night." Click.
For the rest of my shift I keep a close eye on the news. There are no reports of police shooting anyone. No reports of anyone shooting at the police. A suicide wouldn't make it on the news channels in this town. It would be too small a story.
I hope they got to her in time.