OK, after working for 13+ years in the #2 ER
in the Buffalo area (40,000+ visits/year) I might be able to comment on this. (this is why I moved to the Labor and Delivery dept)
First everyone that comes in to an ER
is triaged (an exam that categorizes the priority of illness/injury of all patients waiting to be seen), in our cases we use a 5 tier system where the most severely ill are scene first and then the next and so on. Sometimes it may appear that while waiting in the waiting room that not much is happening but remember patients are coming in via ambulance and depending on their condition they are triaged and attended to as needed.
However once you are scene by a MD
, PA etc you will be waiting for an additional time for a variety of reasons some of which are.
Blood/Lab work... It will take a bit of time to have the order written and entered into the system, your sample will have to be collected and sent to the lab. Once in the lab they have to be prepared, some blood work needs to be "spun" in order to separate the blood product this can take 10-20 minutes. The same then has to be run through the proper machines to be resulted and that also can take 10-20+ minutes. Next the lab work is printed out back in the ER
, the MD
etc has to then read it, this may take some time is he/she is with another patient (if the results are "critical we do alert the MD
X-Rays, sonogram, Cat- scans, MRIs etc. again after the order is put through it is given a priority by the Xray dept (remember they also have to do "in-House emergency's as well) and depending upon the number o films that have to be taken it may take a good 20-30 minutes to shoot all the required images (along with positioning the patient for each). The films have to then be processed and given to the Radiologist to read. This again may take some time depending upon what is going on in Radiology. After reading the results are sent to the ER
for the MD
etc to review.
Note: my hospital has just gone filmless so the Xray bit has been speeded up a bit"
Now once we have all of the above back and have a better idea as to what is going on we need to get in touch with your own personal MD
to see what he/she feel should be done (admission etc) this again may take some time.
If you can get in and out of an ER
in under 4 hours you are doing quite well, also in regards to the nosebleed in the waiting room I'll say this if we knew that a patient in the waiting room who was on anticoagulation therapy and was having "a nosebleed" they would not be relying on the care of non-staff MD
in the waiting room"
Sorry if I babbled or missed anything, but I have been out of the ER
for about 10 months now and being the old man I am I tend forget...
[Edited 2005-03-22 03:11:05]
Pray hard but pray with care For the tears that you are crying now Are just your answered prayers