In Case Of Emergency

The Plot:

“In Case Of Emergency” visits seven cities around the United States to follow emergency room nurses as they treat patients from all walks of life — revealing a unique perspective on issues confronting this country.

Kent's Take:

Emergency nurses are foot soldiers in various wars confronting this country. They see people at their weakest, most vulnerable moments and must respond with competence, skill and care. They are both caregivers and reassuring friends.

Emergency Medicine is a relatively new area in the field. Previously, emergencies were sent to the “Accident Department” which was run by nurses. Now, emergency rooms have state-of-the-art facilities to tackle any trauma that may arrive.

As these nurses confront the realities of inadequate healthcare, a raging opioid crisis, high-speed car accidents, increasing gun violence and now a COVID-19 pandemic, these hardworking, caring people find that their defense mechanism are failing.

Following nurses in New Jersey, Vermont, Dallas, Iowa, Oregon and Detroit, one of the universal themes that each nurse expresses is their excitement when treating trauma, because it gives them a tangible chance to make a difference in someone’s life – by saving it.

One nurse states, “It’s a wild lens by which to see the world.” Another reveals, “(We must) switch from, ‘I’m a mom’ to ‘I’m an evidence gatherer.’”

Director Carolyn Jones captures the intensity along with the quiet moments that define both a profession and the careers within. There are no political or social activist undertones to this film. It is simply showing the reality of the situations that emergency rooms across the nation are experiencing — allowing viewers to see social and cultural problems from an important viewpoint.

The emergency room is the pivot point for the problems we face as a nation — it’s the overdose of the opioid patient, the gunshot wounds, patients who wait too long to see a doctor because of inadequate healthcare and those suffocating on their own fluids as they struggle with COVID-19.

As these problems arrive, we witness the repercussions to families, to the hospital, to our healthcare system and certainly to these brave,dedicated nurses.

If any film that could finally lead the discussion to finding solutions to some of our most pressing issues, “In Case Of Emergency” is that film. Displaying a balance of real time emergency medicine with heartfelt mercy, this film is a beautiful flag-bearer for front-line responders.