I first heard about the Pulse shooting from my husband. We woke up that morning and he saw a news alert on his cell phone saying there was a shooting in downtown Orlando with victims being taken to Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). I remember being surprised that there was another shooting, as the night before Christina Grimmie was shot and killed outside an Orlando concert venue.
I immediately got my laptop and saw the email stating “mass casualty incident is in effect with 20 victims.” My stomach dropped.
We quickly got up and turned on the news. A short time later, we saw the press conference announcing 49 deceased victims and both of us audibly gasped. It took me almost an hour to process what I was seeing come across my work email and what I saw on the news. Soon enough the phone calls from friends, family and coworkers began. That afternoon I got the call that one of our team members was trying to get in touch with me because he was injured in the shooting. He was about to have his first of many surgeries.
At the time, I was acting lead for my department while my manager and administrator were on medical leave. Knowing I had to lead the department through the incident was very nerve-wracking. That Monday, I had no idea what I was walking into or if I would be prepared. I just wanted to make sure my team had everything they needed to support the victims and their families as well as the other patients in the hospital.