Tuesday, September 11, 2012

step right up, sit right down, hope you brought a book

We are consistently more busy then we have been. The "budgeted" census has been blown to hell. At least a couple of times a week there are 15-20 people in the lobby.

Our local EMS system does not like ERs going on divert. It used to be you could go on divert for 4 hours. It is now down to 2 hours and, ideally, the plan is to eliminate the ability to close. What are we supposed to do if the place is completely out of control and we have 3 or 4 criticals at once? Your guess is as good as mine. Run out the door perhaps?

Anyway, we rarely close anyway these days. The frequent 15-20 people in the lobby are usually people who use the ER as a clinic. Toothache, sore throat, female abdominal pain, UTIs, lacerations, etc etc etc. I am always amazed at how long people will wait for this shit.

My point? More and more people seem to be using our ER as a clinic. Those populations have exploded this summer. Why? I don't know. Can't get an appointment? The county hospital down the street wait is too long? Aliens are speaking telepathically and telling people to come to the ER?

I just can't wait until EVERYBODY has insurance, can't get doctors appointments and come to the ER BECAUSE THEY CAN.. I'm totally in favor of Obamacare, as far as I'm concerned the government should take over the whole damn thing, blow it up and start over again.


Nurse K said...

The first day "everyone" has insurance will be a disaster "drill" with lines of people around the hospital with triage tags galore. Lots of green tags, but tags still.

Mal said...

You need a system by which people with non-emergency complaints are given a leaflet with the definition of 'Emergency' and discharged by the triage nurse.

'Here's your leaflet. Please wait in the carpark, and we'll call you in when all emergency patients have been seen. Your estimated wait time for this complaint is: a) Come back next year. b)shortly after hell freezes over. c) never.

Mark p.s.2 said...

In Canada we have had the ER as a clinic problem for forty years or more.

Right next to the ER building there has to be a free clinic for non emergencies.

People will not stop seeking help.

Hospital Emergency Department is not a doctor's office" from 1971

July 20, 2012 There were 49 patients on stretchers in the emergency room at the Lakeshore General Hospital at 4 p.m. Wednesday – above the 31-stretcher capacity but nevertheless a far cry from the high numbers of peek periods in the past.


January 7, 2011 The number of patients on stretchers at the Lakeshore General Hospital emergency room was at 50 Wednesday morning but is averaging in the low to mid-40’s, compared to a high of almost 70 patients earlier in the new year.


October 19, 2009 …there were 65 people in the ER which has a 31-patient capacity.

ER Nurse Sweden said...

Well then we seems to bee very lucky at our ER in Sweden, because I as an triage nurse are allowed to send people with non-emergency problems to other clinics for example their family doctor. But our difference is that everyone has a family doctor thanks to our tax paid medicare system.

Ally said...

The comment above illustrates the fallacy of logic that the original post was talking about: "tax paid medicare" does NOT equal doctors or medical care. Insurance and actual medical care are not the same thing. The former is pretty worthless without the latter.

Anonymous said...

Even if people happen to get insurance, they will still come to the ER because of convenience. They will now just think they have the right to be there. The problem with this country is the idea that everyone has the right to immediate gratification. I shouldn't have to make an appointment, I need to be treated now. I shouldn't have to wait for a scheduled test I need it now. The problem with healthcare in this country is the people in it and the people running it!