Thursday’s Prompt

First person gives your story a strong voice. With first person, the readers think and feel right along with the narrator. Here’s the prompt: Begin a story in which the first-person narrator is at work. They will use jargon or slang to describe what they’re doing. Don’t use too much though, a little goes a long way.

7 thoughts on “Thursday’s Prompt

  1. Here is my first attempt at joining in on your wonderful site using one of your prompts. Best to you all:)

    Facing a day as a therapist is a heavy endeavor. When the alarm jolts me awake my first thought is, ‘it’s a workday.’ Getting dressed is simpler since the pandemic caused us to work remotely and I only have to be presentable from the waist up. With coffee in hand, I sit down to prepare my notes for the day in the EMR (Electronic Medical Record.) The EMR is a maze of electronic forms in a complex system which includes evaluations, progress notes, and also intra-office emails between the providers and the staff. The forms I have to prepare are weird, wacky things that can be populated, prefilled, and prepped so that after the session, completing the progress note is not so cumbersome.
    As I open the system, check emails, and find my schedule for the day, I begin to think through the demands before me. Inevitably I have to push myself past the resistance in my head. I hate the EMR, I hate doing progress notes. If I could do the therapy and then be done I would be a happy camper. But alas, that’s not my reality. The notes have to be done in order for the session to be reimbursed by the insurance company, and that’s only fair, after all, when a client pays their insurance premium every month, and deserves to have the session covered. So I press on. And if I’m honest, though I hate it, the EMR is so much more efficient than the paper charts of the past, so I try to be grateful.
    When the notes are all prepped, I go to my home office to get ready for work. I open the program on my computer and step into my virtual waiting room. I set up my water, my second cup of Joe, and my tissue box next to me so I have everything I need. Why do I need a box of tissue? The client is miles away in their own home after all. Well, therein lies the next bit of preparation for my day. I take some deep breaths, say a prayer that my words will be of use to those I see that day, and that I can manage it all without taking on too much collateral trauma, or compassion fatigue. I remind myself to simply be present, to hear, validate, and not absorb the deeply sad, the terribly traumatic, or the unbearably frustrating experiences my clients will unload on me that day. I can’t fix any of it for them, and that in itself can be sad and frustrating, but I can witness, support, encourage, and offer new perspectives and strategies. And so I press on.

    1. Great job Shannon. Your empathy comes through loud and clear. Your day sounds exhausting before you even begin. It must be very hard to always be the shoulder for others to lean on, to cry on not to mention the unending and ever-changing red tape of bureaucracy. To keep your emotional distance and still be of service is an art in itself. Thank you for your post.

      1. Thanks Diana, This is a new experience working off of a prompt and though it seemed like it would be difficult, it really turned out to be fun. I’m grateful to be able to chime in on this blog! Best, Shannon

    2. Hi Shannon, your writing following the prompt was so good. Your words took me right into your world. I was a speech therapist and I “get” the part about all the crazy paperwork. It takes away from what you really want to do and were trained for. Thanks so much for writing this and we’re glad you are joining us!

    3. Shannon, so glad you dove into this prompt. Beginning with ‘I’ takes a reader along and into oneself. It seems the EMR is the nugget of your work day, at least in this writing, and it drove your thoughts in this piece to perhaps, the validity or purpose we, on the outside, sometimes forget. You showed how the therapist internally and emotionally feels on any given workday. Thank you for such an open piece and in joining us. We look forward to your company!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.