"Jonathan Bartels is a nurse working in emergency care. He says witnessing death over and over again takes a toll on trauma workers — they can become numb or burned out. So the next time we worked on another person who didn't make it, I decided to be bold and stop people from leaving," he says. "I just said, 'Can we stop just for a moment, to recognize this person in the bed? You know, this person before they came in here was alive — they were interacting with family, they were loved by others, they had a life.' "
The team did it. Standing together silently, they stopped — just for a minute.
"When it was done, I said, 'Thank you all, and thank you for the efforts that we did to try and save them.' People walked out of the room, and they thanked me," Bartels says.
What's come to be called The Pause is now being taught as part of the curriculum at the university's nursing school. Emergency medical technician Jack Berner says it helps him handle the toughest cases. ‘It makes it so we can actually view the person as a person, rather than as a patient that we see on an everyday basis,’ he says. ‘You can relate more to the case, [knowing] it's somebody's father or their mother, their sister or their uncle, rather than somebody you just see for five minutes’."