Cultural Scene Ethnography

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Cultural Scene Ethnography

My observation takes place in an Emergency Room in a local hospital. The waiting room is a thirty-by-forty room with white walls and a dusty rose counter, the television sets blared from each end of the room. A drunken man wearing a woolen cap kept breaking into song and new people walked in every few minutes. Behind the counter there are three secretary calling people names. In the waiting area the people whisper and fidget constantly. Female patients often cross their legs when they're nervous, then uncross them only to repeat the sequence over and over again. Male patients run their hands through their hair, folding their arms, and then unfolding their arms, putting them in their pockets only to refold them again. I think fidgeting is a helpful stress reliever for many patients. It often helps take their mind off from why they are there in the first place. For example, one patient, holding an insurance card in his hand, constantly turned his card in his hand until he ripped it.

Fathers, when bringing a child to the emergency room, tend to be excessively concerned, telling anyone that will listen what they should be doing and how to take care of his child. Fathers tend to sympathize with their children by telling them about their own scars and bruises. If a mother brings a child to the emergency room, she is usually totally engrossed in the child, rarely, if ever leaving the child's side. Mothers tend to sympathize with their children by crying right along with them or nearly fainting.

Through the double doors to the actual emergency room, "CODE TRAUMA NOW" echoes throughout the department on the overhead pager. Each clinician dons gowns, gloves, and glasses and the patient is carefully moved from the paramedic's stretcher to the hospital stretcher. The room is silent and like clockwork, the paramedic begins to report what happened. She is wheeled in to a small private room surrounded by various machines such as IV...
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