8/19/08-What constitutes an ED

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My preconceptions about an ER were mostly attributed to my own personal experiences in such facilities. The majority of which, whether going for myself or with someone else, took place in the waiting room. People enter and sign in/talk to the person at the front desk. They then proceed to wait (often much longer than they would like). Many times there will be children crying, people sleeping or grumbling, and a dense feeling of gloomy restlessness. I have also been through the frustrating experience of the emergency room staff having trouble identifying the problem. After waiting and growing restless/ increasingly concerned about the impeding ailment, it has been frustrating to emerge with an unidentified problem and instructions to seek out more specialized care.

It was very helpful/interesting for me to hear the story from a Doctor's perspective. The amount of patients seen in two 8 hour shifts was quite overwhelming. It must be quite stressful to try to quickly analyze and treat that many patients (many of which are in pain and also disgruntled from the waiting experience). The lecture gave me a deeper appreciation for the staff of the emergency room itself. When I think about how an ER might be improved, my thoughts tend to focus on the patient's perspective. I now realize that it is also extremely important that the facilities are helpful/aiding in the work of the staff as well.