THE BLOG

End Of 'Emergency Room' Is The Beginning Of The Conversation

02/25/2014 07:43 EST | Updated 04/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Tonight's episode of "Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH" is about beginnings and endings, which is fitting for a series finale.

Over the course of the series, we have seen so many amazing examples of the incredible dedication that VGH's emergency department staff has. And tonight, we get a chance to see students at the beginning of their journey.

Vancouver General Hospital is a teaching hospital where students from across the province -- and the country -- come to do their residency. In tonight's episode, we follow the challenges Dr. Campbell, Dr. Shirzad, and Dr. Lee face as they teach and mentor residents and junior staff, passing on their knowledge and experience to the next generation.

While shooting, the production crew often commented that the role of the social worker in the emergency room was one they didn't fully appreciate or understand until they worked on this series. We've heard the same thing from viewers who have been tuning in.

The final episode tonight showcases how integral social workers are to the emergency department. Viewers will meet Marwa, a young Unit Co-ordinator who begins her training with Yasmin. The episode also follows the inspiring and poignant story of veteran social worker Carolle's retirement.

We were not able to include in the series, for a variety of reasons, all of the interesting stories we filmed at VGH. Fortunately, we were able to offer some of these stories as Beyond The Episodes web extras.

There are humourous stories, but some very emotional moments, too. Viewers can find out what it takes to be a Unit Clerk, how staff deal with the issue of violence in the ER, more about the ER communication tool "blue phone," and watch the fascinating story of Les, one of the dedicated volunteers at VGH.

Blog continues below slideshow.

"Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH"

The response to "Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH" has been fantastic, and all of us who work on the show have appreciated hearing people's enthusiastic responses to the stories we've shared. The discussions around key health care issues in Canada on knowledge.ca/er have been engaging. I have often found myself agreeing with the majority of responders on given topics, which makes me feel that we have more in common on these issues than I would have thought.

It would be so positive if, out of this shared approach, we continued to work on real solutions to a number of these issues.

One of the goals of this series was to engage British Columbians in conversation about our health care system. From knowledge.ca/er, to Twitter, to emails from across the province and phone calls from friends, family, and colleagues, many conversations have started as a result of this show. It's my hope that, although it's the last episode of the series, it's just the beginning of the conversation.

I hope you will join me as we tune into our final episode of "Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH."

"Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH" is broadcast on British Columbia's Knowledge Network Tuesdays at 9 p.m. PT. Episodes are simulcast on the series' interactive companion website.