Doc. features Oak Bay-raised doc

Dr. Bri Budlovsky is in Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH on the Knowledge Network

Dr. Bri Budlovsky stars in Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH on the Knowledge Network.

Dr. Bri Budlovsky stars in Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH on the Knowledge Network.

With no script, the pace, challenges and “saves” are all real on a new emergency room documentary airing this month, says Oak Bay-raised Dr. Bri Budlovsky.

Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH on the Knowledge Network follows Budlovsky and her peers on shift at Vancouver General Hospital.

“It is a true documentary in that the crew showed up to the emerg. every day and put microphones on us then disappeared. What you see is really our day-to-day life,” she said in a phone interview from her Vancouver home. “There are always challenging cases, that’s the nature of the job. There are times you want to take a break on shift whether the cameras are there or not. The nature of the job is that after that interaction you have to take a deep breath and put a smile on your face.”

A former Glenlyon Norfolk junior school student, she attended St. Michaels University School for her high schooling then moved out of Oak Bay for her undergrad. Budlovsky lived in Vancouver the last nine years, returning home to Oak Bay for visits with her parents.

“It was easy to decide to be a part of it. It’s an honour to be a part of it and whatever we can do to show everybody what we do is wonderful,” she says. “It’s a chance for my parents to see me at work, which is cool. We’re proud of what we do in the emergency room and we’re proud to be a part of the team and do what we do for people when they come in and are ill or in need.”

Budlovsky had the benefit of witnessing the “humour and humanity” of the first season before filming started on the second season.

“It was exciting to be a part of and show the public what we do every day. We have a public health care system and it really belongs to everybody,” she says. This program accurately demonstrates “why wait times might be long and care staff might look sweaty or rattled.”

Vancouver General Hospital is one of Western Canada’s largest and busiest emergency departments.

“It’s a high-volume tertiary centre and it’s a big emerg.,” she said. “There’s always stream of patients coming through the door. It keeps us on our toes.”

The second season of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH continues to examine the high-intensity, life-and-death stakes of emergency medicine, and the issues that arise. It also takes a closer look at the patient’s medical journey, at times following their story with medical specialists beyond the walls of the emergency room.

“I hope people will tune in because it is a public health care system and for us it’s important to start a conversation and demonstrate what we do behind the scenes. We’re proud of it,” she said. “(And) I like to think we all have a really good sense of humour, the drama is there.”

“The first season of Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH was a complex and risky project for us. But its record-breaking success showed that British Columbians care deeply about these stories and these issues,” said Rudy Buttignol, president and CEO of Knowledge Network. “We were not contemplating a second season so soon, but the public kept asking for more. We are fortunate that our partners, Vancouver Coastal Health and Lark Productions, fully embraced the opportunity.”

Among the issues explored in the six-episode season are problems created by an aging population, the impact of common accidents, and the life-saving role of new technology. One episode is dedicated to the nurses that make up 81 per cent of Vancouver general’s emergency department staff.

Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH returns to B.C.’s Knowledge Network April 12 at 9 p.m. Episodes will be simulcast at knowledge.ca/er which will also feature 49 web shorts and interactive surveys to spark conversation around health care.

“It’ll go online when it premiers April 12 and that will be the first time we see it too. It’ll be fun to watch and see our colleagues,” Budlovsky says. “There are a few cases they highlight the emergency and then follow up and see the specialty teams on the ward.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
West Shore RCMP says presence in Esquimalt Lagoon Saturday was not related to death in Metchosin

Police continue to investigate what they describe as ‘targeted incident’ in death of a 37-year-old man

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Ronald Schinners, owner of The Cabbie in the #YYJ, opened his taxi service in the West Shore last month. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
‘One man show,’ The Cabbie in the #YYJ cultivates 45,000 followers on Instagram

New taxi company brings unusual spunk to the West Shore

Zahra Rayani-Kanji of Heart Pharmacy, Sidney Pharmacy manager James McCullough, and Naz Rayani, owner and founder of Heart Pharmacy, join sisters Becky Brigham and Judy Costanzo outside the business. Sidney Pharmacy has become the sixth Heart Pharmacy outlet in Greater Victoria after its purchase from Brigham and Costanzo. Their parents, Frances and Jim Brigham, first opened the business in 1959. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney Pharmacy changes ownership, but retains family tradition

First opened by Frances and Jim Brigham in 1959, Sidney Pharmacy is now part of Heart Pharmacy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has in the past warned of Öffnungsdiskusionorgien (translated as an orgy of discussions about openings), one of one of the 1,200 words added to the German lexicon as reported by the Leibniz Institute for the German Language. (Michael Kappeler/Pool via AP)
German lexicon grows by 1,200 words, many inspired by COVID-19 pandemic

Öffnungsdiskusionorgie (orgy of discussions about openings) among new entries

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read