RUSH HOURS: EMERGENCY LINE

The emergency department is a busy unit in the hospital which works 24hours daily… What a great deal you must wonder, of course it is and lets see how it works.

An emergency department also known as an accident & emergency department (A&E), casualty room, emergency room, is a medical treatment facility specializing in emergency medicine. The A&E is a clinical unit into which patients enter with an acute medical problem and from which they leave with that problem assessed and addressed.

WHAT DOES THIS DEPARTMENT NEED?

A successful emergency department is like a well-oiled machine, with each part doing its specific job efficiently so that it does not break down and will keep running smoothly

  • The emergency department is optimized to live at the edge of chaos, to handle multitude of different problems simultaneously, non of which is predicted in advance. It is designed to work 24hrs in a day, 365 days in a year and should be located on its own section of the ground floor of the hospital with its own dedicated entrance.
  • The need for skill and wide ranging knowledge of many facets of medicine in such a department cannot be overemphasized. Skilled physicians and other emergency department personnel is essential to implement the most appropriate procedures and take good care of patients.
  • A management system is required where;

The physician takes one patient at a time, so that each patient should feel he/she is the sole object of that physicians attention.

The physician must care for all simultaneously and effectively and provide on-line management of the department.

The physician director of the emergency department designs the patient care processes, scheduling of staff, deployment of physical space, allocation of resources- all to deliver the best care for the patient.

  • In this department what to do regarding each case is key for the personnel. Since the injuries and conditions that are handled in the emergency department are extremely varied, knowing the right thing to do and doing it quickly is paramount for the success of this department.

OPERATIONAL MODALITIES

  1. When a patient comes to the A&E, depending on the the condition, two things are essential: Resuscitation and the Triage (quick assessment, taking of vital signs, and assessment of chief complain).
  2. A treatment plan must be created for every emergency patient, every factor including patients age, history and medications that may interfere with healing process must be considered.
  3. There would be patients who would require quicker attention than others especially; hemorrhaging patients, patients in shock or with a fracture or dislocation. For instance, emergency personnel understand that a dislocation needs to be handled fairly quickly because there is a possibility of losing blood supply to the joint or cutting of a nerve, risking vascular and neurological complications.
  4. The keeping of simple medical and surgical aseptic procedures is most needed in this department that could be chaotic. Hand washing is important to lessen spread of infection.
  5. About 60% of patients admitted to every hospital come in through the emergency department, thus a patient’s first experience in the hospital may be at the A&E. Each patient when they leave the A&E is either transferred and admitted to another department, transferred to another facility, discharged home, die in A&E, or leaves against medical advice. However, the department is to work hard to see that patients are given the best care they need during their stay there.

 

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Cynthia Isuekebhor