How are Emergency Rooms Staffed? – 15 Things you should know
Bellaire ER strives to provide quality, 24/7 emergency care for all patients. With a team of qualified and experienced physicians and state-of the-art technology, we pride ourselves in taking early diagnoses, scans and running emergency tests to save the lives of our patients.
It is important to know that the operations of an ER require meticulous attention and over the years we have continuously improved our services. The key lies in the staffing of our ER. How then, should an emergency room be staffed?
Administrative Registration Clerks
This is the first group that approaches a patient. It is a non-medical team responsible for registering patients in the emergency room. The clerks ask for personal details such as names, dates of birth and insurance provider information. Bellaire ER works in partnership with most private insurance providers, and we offer payment plans for patients without insurance.
The Triage Nurse
Once a patient is checked in, a triage nurse will approach them to determine the extent of their injury or ailments. Emergency rooms do not operate on a “first-come, first-served” principle. Instead, a triage nurse will organize a treatment plan based on the severity of the complications in the ER. For example, if a patient is rushed in in an ambulance, he will obviously be served before the patient that can walk and breathe on his own.
During triage, the nurse will examine blood pressure, pain levels, oxygen levels, and temperature. The nurse may take the patients to the treatment center or the waiting area. Usually, patients are encouraged to inform the nurse if changes occur, for immediate treatment.
The Primary Emergency Department Nurse
This nurse offers primary treatment and is the jack-of-all-trades. Whether the patient requires a wound or a burn dressed, intravenous fluids, airway suction, neurological evaluations, or transportation to a hospital, the primary emergency nurse is fully capable of handling it.
The Charge Nurse
A charge nurse oversees the operations of the nurses in the ER and assists in complex situations. The ER could turn chaotic in a few minutes, and the charge nurse ensures that the nurses are fairly distributed and offer care to the patients.
An attending assumes immediate care of the patient and can review the treatment plans with the residents. If the ER has a teaching program, the attending may have interns to assist him/her. The attending has the power to direct the treatment of a patient and document the supervision of the patient’s treatment.
Some patients require more specialized treatments from surgery, neurology or orthopedics. Physicians that have specialized in a specific branch of medicine take up treatment of the patient immediately.
Physician Assistants(PA) and Nurse Practitioners(NP)
PAs perform medicine under the direction of a physician while NPs have advanced training to treat patients in the ER.
Most ER require staff to take X-rays and CT scans. These technicians do not interact directly with the patients but are vital in the treatment plans of any patient. Bellaire ER offers a full-service X-ray, CT scans for non-invasive 3D-imaging of organs, and ultrasound imaging for obstetric, abdominal and vascular evaluations.
Lab Technicians are responsible for testing samples brought to them and giving a detailed report of the results. Bellaire ER has a fully equipped lab and a team that runs tests on blood cell count, metabolic profiles, pregnancy test, urinalysis, stool tests and more.
Emergency Medical Technicians(EMTs)
Critically injured or ill patients have encounters with EMTs in ambulances or helicopters. The EMTs gather patient history, vitals and offer emergency aid such as CPRs. On arrival at the ER, EMTs give a detailed report about patients to the physicians for faster treatment.
Social workers are non-medical staff that are in charge of reaching out to the families of the patients, especially those that are unconscious in level-one trauma rooms. The presence of family members or friends is essential in the healing process of a patient.
Some ERs also include a team of forensic nurses that are in charge of treating assault victims. Most rape victims are attended to by these nurses who gather DNA samples, identify injuries and give information on continued care of the patient.
The ER can quickly get flooded with patients and physicians, and nurses need help to move them from place to place. Transporters work hand-in-hand with the medical professionals to take patients for scans, and tests or move them safely from beds with wheel chairs and beds. A transporter is essential for the smooth operations of an ER.
Factors affecting Staffing of an ER
According to a post by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the staffing of an ER depends on:
Strategic Drivers: quality of care, patient safety, and the level of service you want to deliver.
Tactical Drivers: patient volume, acuity, patient length of stay, admit holds, physician capabilities, and non-physician staffing.
The staffing at Bellaire ER strives to strike a balance between the two drivers and offer quality 24/7 emergency services.
Free-Standing Immediate Care Facilities
Bellaire ER is a free-standing facility. This means that we are not based in a hospital, and therefore, less crowded. We have agreements with various hospitals in Houston and patients can be admitted to the hospital of choice as long as the requirements are met.
Bellaire ER is a modern facility that offers quality emergency services to the community. With a team of qualified physicians, nurses, and technicians, all our patients can look forward to excellent treatment in a safe and sanitary environment. For more information, visit Bellaire ER today.