I'm a newly minted grad student in Architecture, Culture and Behavior.
My definition of an ER: A designated area where people with critical (and often not-so-critical) injuries and ailments come to seek immediate treatment. People arrive in various states of physical and emotional (and economic) distress. Wait times are notoriously long and tedious.
As suspected, the ER is a revolving door of people with a broad spectrum of complaints and maladies--the ER sees it all! It is interesting that two people with the exact same symptom (i.e. fever) can be in vastly different states of medical need. I'd like to learn more about the process of triage--who gets treatment when. Jeremy helped dispel a few myths about what really goes on in the ER--I didn't realize that "patients" who go into cardiac arrest on ER The Show are revived 70% of the time, whereas in real life it amounts to 5% or less. Wow!
Perhaps I have watched too many episodes of ER, but there is always a scenario where an individual becomes outraged that another individual has received treatment first--preferential treatment. Is there a design solution to ameliorate this? Make ER room more hierarchical or at least as a disguised hierarchy? In a similar vein, I'm interested in the idea that an individual's pain and suffering is very much his/her own, and the urgency and sense of entitlement that comes with it. Tricky placing value on something so intensely personal and subjective.