Well, I survived my first on call as a CPE chaplain yesterday. At my hospital there is always a chaplain on call for a 24 hour period.
Some interesting things I learned working in a Trauma 1 center as an on call chaplain:
1. It is indeed amazing how many different ways the human body can be mangled.
2. I'm never owning another motorcycle.
3. I have a greater understanding of the dark humor in M*A*S*H.
4. The hospital cafeteria closes at 1 AM not 2 AM.
4.A. Because you did not have time to get dinner, 80 cent bags of chips from the vending machine do not go far.
5. CPR does not always work, in fact most of the time when someone goes into cardiac arrest, they die, even with the crash cart shock thing.
6. You can never tell how people are going to react when they are told that their loved one has died. Some scream, some get silent, some pass out.
7. In the South, its better to pray like a Methodist and not read a canned BCP prayer.
8. It's not about finding the right words when you have to be with a mother who has been told her three premature triplets did not make it. There just are not any right words. Nothing can make it better.
9. If you manage to go to sleep, the on call pager will wake you up but the evac helicopter landing outside the chaplain's sleep room won't.
10. Learn to love being called "Preacher."