Sushama Bhat

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Class on 8/19/08

My idea of an ER : Before

Ideally an Emergency Room (ER) is the place that deals with medical emergencies immediately. I have never been in an ER before but I’ve heard from people that the experience there is not a very memorable one. I was told that in an ER people have to wait for hours when sick or in pain and they are seen based on the pain level that they say they have (I believe if they said they were in too much pain, they would be seen immediately!). I wondered as to how something as subjective as pain could be described and if I should say that I was in too much pain every time I visited an ER. Hearing only one side of the story got me biased and I assumed that people in the ER don’t really care much.

My idea of an ER : After

Dr.Ackerman’s presentation on Tuesday (8/19/08) got me thinking. It was interesting to learn about the Federal law that guaranteed medical attention to everyone coming to an ER but I could also see how difficult this made it for the attendants there to manage the show. It felt good to know that people there try so hard to make the patient’s experience a good one. But I still wonder if everyone is as committed as Dr.Ackerman. Wasn’t a seriously ill lady seen 3-4 times before being brought to the ER where he was on duty? This again raises doubts in my mind but I surely understand the situation much better now than I did before.

Class on 8/21/08

The first presentation by Ms.Margolis threw light on the problem of nurse-shortage in hospitals. It is scary to think of the consequences if the trend continues this way, with the number of patients always on the rise.

During Jim's presentation, it was interesting to see how much thought goes into the design of a hospital. Physicians and Architects working together to design hospitals makes a lot of sense. Guess having Engineers on the team won't hurt either as I'm really looking forward to the class project! :)

Ms.William's presentation was very informative as well. During the previous class, I was thinking about something on the lines of the "Independent Emergency Hospitals" that could be separated from a single hospital so that they could collaborate with other hospitals. It felt nice to learn about the same during this class!

Questions to ask during the ED visit:
1. (Ask hospital staff & patients) What is the one most important thing that the present day ERs lack?
2. On an average, how many physicians and nurses are required in an ER that gets close to 100 patients a day?
3. After the lab reports are received, can a patient's sickness level (1,2,3,4,5) change? How often does this happen?
4. Do physicians/nurses have some form of relaxation to help them relieve all the stress?

Class on 8/26/08

Report on ECLH Visit